Heartland management team confirmed
LOCKED IN ! – Nathan Thompson to lead Francis Mining Buller coaching Team

Heartland management team confirmed

The Francis Mining Buller Heartland team has received a huge boost ahead of the 2023 Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship with the confirmation last year’s Head Coach Nathan Thompson will return to take the reins.

Thompson has some continuity in his team with Craig Adams returning as an assistant coach with a senior role in the coaching team. Also returning will be managers John Smith and Zin Halsall as well as team physio and ICIR Dr Silas Carey.

Last years forwards coach Tii Paulo is not available in 2023, however under his guidance last year, Jon Scanlon will take a more formal role in the management team as an assistant coach.

Former Buller captain and centurion Andrew Stephens will join the management team this year, replacing last years assistant coach James Lash who is not available in 2023.

The Buller side showed plenty of promise and a vast improvement in 2022, narrowly missing the playoffs. The team started off on a great note, beating Mid Canterbury which was Buller’s first win in over 1000 days. They also regained the Rundle Cup with a thrilling win over West Coast in Greymouth where they held the ball for 40 phases to score a winning try deep into overtime.

Buller Rugby Chairman Hugh McMillan was delighted to secure Thompson in the role stating “Nathan is a highly respected coach both in our region and across the whole competition. He is an astute forward-thinking coach, and was instrumental in the improvement of the team last year. We look forward to seeing the team continue their development this year under his guidance and support from his management team”.

Thompson is looking forward to the challenge this year and building off a strong base from 2022 saying “I am super stoked to be working alongside such a great group of men and women who care deeply about rugby in Buller including union staff, the board, this years management team and of course the players. It’s a great honour to be involved in a ‘project’ with such a rich history and legacy that means so much to so many people and I know collectively we are really looking forward to making the 2024 season special for everyone involved”.

Andrew Duncan
Chief Executive Officer