Hosts Dallen Stanford & Robin MacDowell are joined by legends Kieran and Nicole Crowley for #RugbyHive Episode 33.
Kieran played in the backline for the All Blacks from 1983-1991 (19 Caps) winning the 1987 Rugby World Cup on home soil. He was also part of the New Zealand team that won the Bledisloe Cup in 1985, 1990 and 1991. Kieran played 199 times for club team Taranaki, scoring 1,723 points, and later coached Taranaki from 1998-2007.
Kieran spent eight years coaching the Canadian Men’s 15s team, taking them to the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups. He then spent five seasons with Benetton in Italy, which is when this interview was recorded during 2020. Since we spoke, Kieran was named Coach of the Year while at Benetton Rugby guiding them to a Pro 14 Rainbow Cup Championship (2021), before being selected as the Head Coach of Italy in May of 2021. He led Italy to a 22-21 win over Wales in the 2021 Six Nations, and then recorded one of the biggest upsets to date for the Azzurri by defeating Australia 28-27 in the Autumn tours of 2022.
Kieran’s daughter, Nicole, also grew up New Zealand until she moved to Canada with her family at 12 years of age. She played for Team BC in 7s and 15s, captaining them to a National Championship. At just 18 years old while completing an internship at Rugby Canada, Nicole got the opportunity to become Manager of the Canada Women’s 15s team. From there she worked on contract with Rugby Canada while finishing her Business degree at the University of Victoria, where she was also a member of the UVic Vikes rugby team. Nicole managed the Women’s 15s side through their 2017 World Cup campaign as well as the Women’s 7s team to the Pan American Games, HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and Olympic Qualification.
Since our interview, Nicole moved North with her partner (who works in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), living in the remote sub-Arctic in the Northwest Territories, in a town of only 450 people and with no roads connecting it to other towns. Nicole is the Director of Recreation for the municipality where she is highly involved with Special Olympics NT and Sport North, where she works to help disadvantaged and remote kids from communities like hers, access sporting opportunities.
In this episode we talk about Kieran and Nicole’s rugby backgrounds, their accomplishments in the sport, and how they both used rugby as a vehicle to live and work in different countries and experience new cultures.
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