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ALL Black Craig Newby will join Coventry as defence coach next month.

The 37-year-old, who made three appearances in the back row for New Zealand, has been working with the squad as a guest coach and takes up his new role following the departure last week of James Pritchard.

After moving to England in 2008, Newby made 84 appearances for Leicester Tigers where he was a Premiership and Heineken Cup winner, also captaining the side.

As a coach, he worked at Cambridge Rugby Club alongside Cov’s director of rugby Rowland Winter and had a season as forwards and defence coach with NEC Green Rockets in Japan. He is now assistant director of rugby at Warwick School, and Wasps’ Under-18 EPDG coach.

Said Winter: “The team have benefitted from the guest sessions that Craig has delivered as a consultant coach.

“He brings with him experience as a coach and a player and has already started to build up a great rapport with the team.

“Having worked with him before as a coach, I am confident that he can have a positive impact on our defence. Craig will join us as defence coach, initially working with the team midweek and starting in January.”