Former Leeds Rhinos captain and New Zealand international Gary Mercer has been appointed as defence coach for Harrogate Rugby Union.
The 55-year-old Kiwi will remain in his other role as head of rugby and tutor at Ashville College, who are one of Harrogate’s main sponsors.
Mercer said: “I’m very much looking forward to taking on the new role of defence coach with the Aces.
“I am very confident about the team’s future. An excellent plan has been put in place and things are certainly happening at the club.”
Mercer won 21 caps for his native New Zealand in the international arena. He played in two World Cups for the Kiwis.
Mercer hung up his boots in 2002 following a short stint with Castleford. He coached Halifax between 1999-2000 before returning to Castleford as coach in 2004.
Harrogate chief delighted to appoint Gary Mercer as defence coach
Harrogate RU director of rugby Martyn Woof is delighted to appoint Mercer as the club’s defence coach.
He said: “Gary Mercer has incredible experience in both codes at club and international level, and we will be drawing upon his knowledge to produce the required step-change in our defence.
“Having Gary join us will add a new range of skills to our coaching set-up. Working alongside our existing head coach Sam Fox we are expecting great things.”
Mercer’s coaching career in rugby union includes time at Yorkshire Carnegie, Glasgow Warriors (Defence coach) and Biggar. He has also worked with the Scottish Rugby Union academy.