WELLINGTON – Colin Cooper quit the Waikato Chiefs Thursday with a year still on his coaching contract, saying he was leaving for the long-term good of the New Zealand Super Rugby team.
Cooper guided the Chiefs to the quarter-finals in the two seasons he was in charge but faced criticism earlier this year after the team made a poor start to their campaign.
He said he wanted to spend more time with his family and the time was right for someone else to take over.
“I believe the team and the club are bigger than the individual and the club comes first,” he said. “With next year the start of a new World Cup cycle, I believe it is the right time to step aside.
“There is a good crew of players and staff here who are committed to carrying the club forward.”