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Rugby

Tyler Bleyendaal: future All Blacks coach?

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

23:26 8 Apr 2019


Could Ireland be harbouring a future All Blacks coach, if they decide to cap Tyler Bleyendaal?

Monday Night Rugby discussed the possibility as it was revealed that the Munster out-half is touted by his team-mates as a future top-class coach, according to the Irish Independent's Ruaidhri O'Connor.

Bleyendaal has had recurring problems with a neck injury, but has been drafted back into the starting line-up for Munster and Ruaidhri believes this is finally a harnessing of an unfulfilled talent.

"When the talk of the new contract was that it would be almost a semi-coaching role, you were wondering how involved he would be.

"Right now, he looks like he is confident in his body, his ability hasn't waned at all. He looks like he is revelling in the opportunity."

But it is the off-field compliments that catch the eye, in respect of Bleyendaal.

"Apparently, he is almost the best rugby brain in the country. Everybody raves about how smart he is.

"Conor Murray said that they joke behind the scenes that he is going to go on to coach the All Blacks. He is massively highly-respected for his rugby IQ."

Bleyendaal's return to form has led to calls that Joe Schmidt may call him into the Ireland setup.

"The way people talk about him is very impressive. He came through the same school as Dan Carter, the New Zealand under-20s and Crusaders.

"Rob Penney tried to get him but it didn't work out, and Anthony Foley got him a couple of years later after the connection had been made. He was brought over to play for Ireland - he was a project player.

"The depth at out-half is ever that strong because of the nature of that position and how difficult it is to become a top-level out-half."

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