One person partially responsible for former Wales coach Wayne Pivac's exit is New Zealand rugby journeyman Paul Tito, who was announced today as a Blues assistant coach.
Tito, a former Hurricanes and Taranaki player, had a hand in Georgia’s recent upset win over Wales at Cardiff's Principality Stadium as part of the Georgian coaching staff.
“To go over to Wales, a place that's pretty special to my heart and do a job to those guys, it was pretty special, pretty unbelievable really. To win at Principlaity Stadium is very special. It’ll sit with me for a long time,” Tito said.
The 44-year-old was unveiled today as a new Blues assistant on the same day Warren Gatland revealed he’d taken over the Wales head coaching duties from Pivac.
“We're all in this industry - you never want a coach to be sacked and my thoughts go out to Wayne, he's a strong man and I'm sure he will come back bigger and stronger,” Tito said.
Tito’s had coaching stints with Taranaki, Western Force and helping the Wellington Lions win the NPC and Ranfurly Shield.
Following the Blues' 2023 season, Tito will return to Georgia to help the national side prepare for the Rugby World Cup.
“It's a real privilege to be able to coach international footy. I’d been involved in the July series [with Georgia] - we managed to tip over Italy in that series as well,” Tito said.
Tito completes the Blues coaching set alongside head coach Leon MacDonald and assistants Tana Umaga, Tom Coventry and Daniel Halangahu.
Tito replaces scrum coach Ben Afeaki, who has signed with Rugby New York in the United States.