The former New Zealand full-back has coached all over the world

Kieran Crowley: Ten things you should know about the Italy head coach

Kieran Crowley was named Italy‘s head coach in 2021 and is charged with improving the team’s form.

Here are a few things you should know about the coach…

Ten things you should know about Kieran Crowley

1. Kieran Crowley was born on 31 August 1961 in Kaponga, New Zealand. He started out in rugby as a player and competed for Taranaki and the New Zealand national team.

2. Crowley won the 1987 Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks.

3. Overall, the full-back played in 19 Tests for his country between 1985 and 1991. He scored 105 points – five tries, five conversions, 23 penalties and two drop-goals.

4. He also competed for Taranaki and Central Districts in cricket.

5. Crowley started coaching in 1998 at his former club Taranaki. He then coached the New Zealand U19 team, Canada and Benetton before taking the Italy reins in mid-2021.

6. He led the U19 New Zealand team to Junior World Cup success in 2007.

7. He says coaching Benetton, the club he joined in 2016, made him fall in love with Italy. He said: “I came to coach Benetton but I really enjoyed it, fell in love with the country and it’s ended up in this position so I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.

“Italy is a great country to be in and to be able to coach them at the highest level against some great teams throughout the world is something I’m really looking forward to and excited about.”

Crowley has said change won’t come quickly at Italy: “I have said since I got this job not to expect big changes on the scoreboard – in terms of wins and losses – to happen quickly, because they don’t at this level.

“The teams we are playing most of the time are way above us in the world rankings, so we have to have some goals within the team that we can look to achieve.”

8. He and wife Sue have three children together.

9. He won Rainbow Cup Coach of the Year award in 2021 after guiding Benetton to victory in that competition’s final against the Bulls.

10. Crowley faced his former team New Zealand for the first time at Italy head coach in the 2021 autumn Internationals. Italy lost the match 47-9.

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