Wests Tigers are pleased to announce New Zealand Kiwis Assistant Coach Ben Gardiner as Head Coach of the club’s 2021 NSW Cup side, Western Suburbs Magpies.
Gardiner has featured as the assistant to Wests Tigers Head Coach Michael Maguire in the New Zealand national side having also previously worked alongside Maguire as an NRL Assistant Coach in South Sydney’s 2014 NRL Premiership victory.
Gardiner joins the club with a vast array of coaching experience having held numerous roles within the Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Cronulla Sharks, North Sydney Bears, New Zealand Maori, City Origin and New South Wales U/20’s sides.
With the NSW Cup competition set to return in 2021 after being suspended in 2020 due to COVID-19, Gardiner said he was extremely excited to hit the ground running.
“It’s a real privilege and honour to work with a club that has the strong history built from two foundation heritage clubs to where they are now,” Gardiner said.
“I’ve worked with Madge for a while now and we’ve formed a good team together, so this is another good step to keep learning and working with him. I’m really looking forward to building a good relationship with the players and staff so that we have successful sides and culture at the NRL level and right through our pathways programs at Wests Tigers.
“The pathways of this club are really important to me because I believe clubs are made from within,” he said. “We want players coming through Wests Tigers and seeing a clear pathway to the NRL — playing their part along the way in creating a winning culture for every grade.
We want players coming through Wests Tigers and seeing a clear pathway to the NRL.Ben Gardiner
“Having the NSW Cup competition return is really important for that, but also for the players too. They are the ones that lost the chance to represent their clubs and themselves in 2020 so I’m looking forward to getting started to build confidence right away.”
With an extended NRL squad training until Christmas, the club’s NSW Cup side will begin training under Gardiner in January ahead of the competition returning in March.