Super Rugby Aotearoa

Highlanders sack coach Aaron Mauger

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Aaron Mauger (Getty Images)
Aaron Mauger (Getty Images)

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger was effectively sacked on Thursday when the Dunedin-based Super Rugby franchise decided not to renew the former All Black's contract after three years.

Mauger, 39, admitted the team had not performed well enough during his time in charge.

"As our on-field results during my tenure haven't been at the level we've all aspired to, it's the head coach who must take responsibility for that," he said in a statement.

The Highlanders' results under Mauger were not disastrous, but they failed to build on a maiden Super Rugby title in 2015 that raised fans' expectations.

He guided the team to quarter-finals in 2017, 2018 and 2019 but managed only three wins in the recently completed Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.

They also lost four of their five regular-season matches before a pandemic-enforced shutdown.

Highlanders chief executive said there was no rush to appoint a replacement.

"We have a little bit of time before we need to make a final decision on our coaching structure for 2021," he said.

"We are fortunate we have quality (assistant) coaches in Tony Brown, Clarke Dermody and Riki Flutey still contracted."

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