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Gilbert Enoka to end his time with All Blacks

Monday 20 March 2023 | Written by RNZ | Published in


Gilbert Enoka to end his time with All Blacks
Gilbert Enoka at All Blacks training. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images/23031909

All Blacks Mental Skills Coach Gilbert Enoka, who is a Cook Islander, has announced he will not look to extend his time with New Zealand Rugby once his contract expires following the Rugby World Cup.

Enoka, who also holds the title of All Blacks Manager - Leadership, has been with the team for 23 years, having first joined with Wayne Smith in the year 2000.

As the longest-serving member of team management, he has been involved in 291 Tests including five Rugby World Cups.

"Each of my 23 years has been an honour and a privilege," Enoka said. "I feel humbled to have been able to contribute to this most wonderful of legacies.

"The time is right for me to pass on the baton. I am committed to ensuring that I fulfil my duties in 2023 to the best of my abilities, in what presents itself as the most special of opportunities.

"I would like to thank my family for their support throughout my All Blacks tenure and those who led the group during my 'tour of duty' including Wayne Smith, Sir Graham Henry, Sir Steve Hansen and Ian Foster. They are all very special men."

A former New Zealand volleyball representative, Enoka has worked with national sports teams since the mid-1990s, but more specifically with the All Blacks through their most successful era.

During that period, the All Blacks became the only team to win consecutive Rugby World Cups in 2011 and 2015, and finished third in 2019.

Enoka has previously also worked with the Black Caps and the Silver Ferns.

Last month English Premier League football club Chelsea hired Enoka on a short-term consultancy deal and challenged him to trigger a similar reaction at Stamford Bridge by forging a new team identity.