New Zealand Rugby has been presented Highlanders Head Coach Jamie Joseph with a pounamu mere in recognition of his 100 games at the helm for the Highlanders.
The traditional gift was presented by former Highlanders Coach and coaching mentor Tony Gilbert at a farewell function for Jamie Joseph.
Joseph began his NZ coaching career in Wellington eventually guiding the Lions to Ranfurly Shield success in 2008 as well as national championship finals in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 Jamie was appointed Maori All Blacks Coach and he guided them to a clean sweep against the New Zealand Barbarians, before taking on Ireland and a famous victory over England. He took over the reins of the Highlanders in 2011 with his debut match being a win against the Hurricanes in Wellington.
Known as an uncompromising coach with old fashioned values and strong work ethic, he has fashioned the Highlanders into a formidable team who have enjoyed success through most of his era, particularly at their Dunedin fortress Forsyth Barr Stadium. However, his tenure will forever be remembered for delivering the Highlanders their first ever Investec Super Rugby title in 2015.
“Jamie has left a legacy here that will stand this club in good stead for many seasons to come, you simply can’t ask for more than that from your coach. We thank him for his contribution and wish him and his family all the best in the future,” said Highlanders CEO Roger Clark.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen said Joseph’s contribution to rugby has been outstanding.
“What Jamie has been able to achieve in rugby down South is the stuff of legends. We knew that when Jamie first joined the Highlanders, that as a former son of Otago, he would be welcomed by rugby fans there.
“Jamie has been a big part of the Highlanders popularity and success. Under his watch, several Highlanders have earned higher honours with the All Blacks and Maori All Blacks bringing success that any coach would be proud of,” he said.
“We are excited for Jamie as he heads to Japan – the hosts of the next Rugby World Cup – and we wish him well for the future,” Sorensen said.