Current Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland keen on Munster reunion in the future.
Jason Holland retired from professional rugby with Munster in 2005 and while not achieving the hold grail as a player, he was part of the coaching set up with Munster in 2008 as they won a second Heineken Cup in three years. Holland, or as he is affectionately known as “Dutchy”, left Ireland in 2012 to join Canterbury and has remained in New Zealand ever since.
Holland is currently the attack and backs coach of the current Super Rugby Champions the Hurricanes who have a wealth of quality to choose from. In the backline alone the Hurricanes have All Blacks, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Jordie Barrett among others. The opportunity to work with such top quality players is something Holland relishes.
Speaking to The 42, Holland said,
“I’ve still got lots to learn but I’ve got an opportunity here to run the attack and the backs and bounce ideas off Nehe Milner-Skudder and Beaudie Barrett and TJ Perenara and those sort of boys, which is great learning.
“You’d have to be mad if you’re not milking those boys in this environment. So I’d love to be just doing what I’m doing for another couple of years and see what happens. I’ve got no interest in being the head coach at the moment.”
Holland is happy to continue learning in his role as an assistant, something he does not take lightly. Last winter during the Super Rugby off-season, he spent his time travelling to different sports set-ups to see how they operate. He spent some time with the Maoiri All Blacksd as they faced Munster in Thomond Park before heading to Montreal Canada to the Cirque de Soleil,
“We just watched how their coaches directed and how they put together their day. It was awesome, really awesome,” said Holland.
“All their artists – who are top trampolinists and do all their tricks – we saw how they are taught, how they worked with different people from all over the world, there were lots of good little things to come out of that.”
Prior to his travels, Holland got a chance to link up with old friends from Munster when they faced the Maoiri’s. The game was played only a few weeks removed from the passing of Anthony Foley, a long term friend of Holland’s. Holland was glad of the opportunity to meet good friends he still has left in Munster.
“I really enjoyed my time at Munster. We were just talking about it, myself and Jerry Flannery, about his first couple of years out and how the borders were a bit blurred. I had the same thing, I look back on the first year or two and it was a little bit like that.”
“Maybe you weren’t tough enough on boys in some areas. I learned my lesson in my coaching at Munster and it has made a difference since I have been back.”
With the departure of Rassie Erasmus imminent for Munster, Holland has been one of the names linked with the vacancy. However, he has been quick to quench any such talk as he does not want to move his daughters once more,
“I’d love to stay here for a good while, partly because of the family – I’ve moved them around,” the former centre says.
“I remember I was telling the girls they were leaving Ireland four or five years ago, or whenever it was, and then nearly changing my mind because their worlds were falling apart. They were born over there.”
However, he hasn’t ruled out a return in the future saying,
“We still love Munster, we’ve got such good mates over there. I still love the Irish, love the place. I’d love to go back at some stage but not in the near future.
“I’d love to get back for a good holiday with the kids. Long-term it would be good to get back, yeah, especially when Axel passed away, I thought ‘Jeez, I want to go back, I want to go back’. But we’ll see what happens here.
“I’d love to go back but not at this moment.”
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