Rico Gear left a steady stream of hapless defenders around the world red-faced over the course of his career as a try-scoring machine in Super Rugby and for the All Blacks.
He was also one of the biggest stars of European rugby when he carved up defences during a two-year stint with English premier side Worcester.
Now he’s bringing a lifetime of knowledge as a player and coach to Bond University as the Bull Sharks’ Colts coaching coordinator and coach of the Colts 1 side.
Gear’s passion is developing young players.
He spent the past two years coaching schoolboy rugby in New Zealand and said his focus would be on providing a high-performance environment to help the Bull Sharks Colts reach their full potential.
That includes encouraging some of the attacking flair that is the trademark of New Zealand sides.
“We’ve got quite a good young group of footballers and we want to promote players as best we can to higher honours and work towards first grade and representative teams,” he said.
“If we look at New Zealand rugby from a schoolboy point of view it is extremely strong and that is reflected in the under 20s program over there.
“There’s a lot of X factor, a lot of unstructured attacking play, and if I compare it to the way the Aussie boys play there’s probably too much structure.
“I think finding the balance between both is going to be a focus for us, because we want to play to the strengths we have here and profile our team the right way.”
Gear will also work closely with first grade head coach Grant Anderson to prepare the next generation of Queensland Premier Rugby players.
“It is pretty important to have that alignment because we’ve seen over the years boys can be playing in the Colts, and halfway through the year they are getting promoted,” he said.
“So, we will work closely together and there will be a lot of alignment around some of the calls, so it is familiar for those guys that do step up to First Grade.”
Bond’s Director of Sport Mike Collins has locked horns with Gear numerous times on fields in New Zealand and Europe.
Collins, a veteran of 81 Super Rugby games for the Chiefs and stints with London Irish and Glasgow Warriors, said he was thrilled to be now on the same side as his old adversary.
“The Colts program is a vital part of the Bond University Rugby Club, and Rico Gear has the rugby knowledge, experience, and personal attributes to develop an outstanding program here on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Rico has played in some of the best-performed teams in world rugby in the All Blacks and Crusaders and alongside some of the best players to have played the game such as Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.
“He will bring Rugby IP built up over the past two decades that will benefit the Colts program as well as potential Reds and Wallaby players of the future.
“I look forward to watching the program develop under his leadership.”