Auckland have announced that Nick White will take over the reins as their new Head Coach for the 2016 ITM Cup season.

White will take over from Paul Feeney, who has joined the Blues as an assistant to new coach Tana Umaga.

After seven seasons as an assistant/skills coach and nine as a player for Auckland, White is now looking forward to the new challenge and stepping up to lead a campaign.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time coaching within the Auckland set up over previous seasons and am looking forward to the challenges that come with being a head coach,” he told Auckland’s official website.

Auckland Rugby Union CEO Andy Dalton said White’s experience within the Auckland system is a huge asset and the opportunity to provide continuity from the 2015 season is invaluable.

“There was a lot of traction made in 2015 and we thought it was important to provide continuity if we are to take the next step and win the Premiership.

“Nick is well respected within the rugby fraternity and we know the high standards set for Auckland from our rugby stakeholders and believe he is the right fit to take this team forward.”

White made his provincial rugby debut as a prop for Northland in 1996 before moving to Auckland and playing nine campaigns, claiming four titles. He played 11 seasons of Super Rugby before retiring and transitioning straight to coaching.

Over the past seven years White has held several coaching roles for Auckland, the Blues, and New Zealand U20s.

Assistant coaches will be appointed in due course.

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