Greene King IPA Championship side Yorkshire Carnegie have pulled off a major coup in capturing highly regarded coach Chris Stirling from the Wellington-based Super Rugby side, The Hurricanes.

Stirling will head up the rugby operation at Yorkshire Carnegie and he arrives with a wealth of experience from English and New Zealand Rugby. The appointment is part of the club’s long term vision to produce an organisation that is ready to regain Premiership status in the years ahead.

Stirling was the General Manager High Performance at the Hurricanes and has arrived in Yorkshire this week to assess the club before putting in place plans for next season. He will attend tonight’s game at promotion-chasing Bristol.

Stirling has experience in the Greene King IPA Championship having previously worked at Cornish Pirates. A former outside back, he has established strong credentials since taking his first coaching job in 1995. With over twenty years experience of strategic development in rugby, he has established a reputation as a meticulous planner who can get the most from the resources available to him.

Stirling will undertake a review of the entire Yorkshire Carnegie rugby operation during this preliminary stay before making recommendations to the club’s Board of Directors. His appointment as the club’s Director of Rugby is the first such full time appointment since Andy Key in 2011. He will have responsibility for all rugby operations including overseeing the club’s academy and developing the pathway from academy to first team, including the club’s partnership with Leeds Beckett University.

The club recently announced that the current coaching team of James Lowes and Steve Boden had agreed new one year deals for next season and they will work alongside Stirling.

Stirling was part of the Hurricanes backroom team that led their side to the 2016 Super Rugby Championship and worked alongside the Hurricanes Head Coach Chris Boyd, who is set to join Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership next season.

Commenting on the acquisition of Stirling, Yorkshire Carnegie Executive President Sir Ian McGeechan OBE said, “The appointment of Chris Stirling as our Director of Rugby is a major boost to our long term aspirations as a Premiership club. His role will be about defining how we build the squad, creating the support structures needed to succeed, to build the pipeline for our young players to progress from the Academy and how we engage with Yorkshire clubs and schools through our Community programmes. Chris brings with him a wide breadth of knowledge and experience, especially of the highest level in New Zealand and his contacts in both hemispheres will prove invaluable.”

Stirling added, “Having the chance to join Yorkshire Carnegie and assist in their future rugby plans is very exciting and I am thrilled with this opportunity. I am looking forward to meeting and working with all the rugby staff and players at the club.

A key area of focus will be familiarising myself and gaining an understanding of rugby in the county. I will spend the immediate period observing and discussing what the rugby history of the club was, what  it is currently and what will be required to achieve our future goals.”