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Utah Warriors Add Robbie Abel as Forwards Coach for 2022

November 18, 2021 - Major League Rugby (MLR) - Utah Warriors News Release

HERRIMAN, UT - The Utah Warriors have hired former Maori All Black Robbie Abel as the team's forwards coach ahead of the team's Fifth Anniversary 2022 season, the team announced Thursday.

"Robbie brings a wealth of playing experience at some of the highest levels of rugby in the world in a specialized forward position," said Warriors' General Manager Brandon Sparks. "He is also a great communicator and educator, which are two of the most important characteristics we look for in our coaches. His involvement with the Utah Warriors in 2022 will both help his development as a coach and help our players find a new level of success for the forward unit that is so vital for our success."

An Australian Native, Abel has extensive professional rugby experience in New Zealand and Australia. He began his career as a standout for the Brumbies Academy in Australia before embarking on a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Upon returning from his Mission to Western Australia, Abel resumed his rugby career with the Brumbies Runners in Northland Rugby Union.

Abel would go on to join the Maori All Blacks, a team that represents New Zealand and is composed only of players with Maori genealogy, in a USA and South America tour. Abel would also spend time with the Western Force, Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby. Abel joins the Warriors following his time as a player-coach for Auckland Rugby, competing in the National Provincial Championship, where he has spent the past four years.

"I've been a part of some great organizations over my time in professional rugby and have learned a lot in the process," said Abel. "I'll look to pass those lessons on in any way I can as the forwards coach for Utah."

Abel said Utah's competitiveness and fight they displayed in 2021 helped the Warriors stand out to him when looking for coaching opportunities.

"What has impressed me most about the Warriors as an organization is that they've shown a lot of fight," said Abel. "Not only when it comes to on-field performances and comeback wins, but the organization as a whole. They adapt when needed and they have developed a style of play that has allowed the team to compete consistently at the MLR level."

With his playing days behind him, Abel is looking forward to the next challenge of coaching in professional rugby and helping to lead Utah to a Major League Rugby Championship.

"I'm looking to build on an already strong foundation at Utah," said Adel. "My objectives are simple. I want to identify ways the team can be better and then take those steps, however great or small they may be. I'm excited to learn, grow, and push myself with the organization."

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