NOLA Gold Rugby Club signed Kane Thompson as their new head coach. He takes over for Nate Osborne, who had that role since Major League Rugby’s inaugural season in 2018.
Kane, who turns 40 in January, was an Assistant Coach with the team for the last three years. He was to be part of Manu Samoa’s coaching staff for the November 2021 canceled match against the Barbarians. He also was a coach with the Ohio Aviators at the World Ten Series in Bermuda.
Kane is from Wellington, New Zealand. He played for Wellington College from 2002-2005 for the Wellington Lions in the National Provincial Championship. He then played in the Mitre 10 Cup for Southland from 2005-07 and for the Highlanders from 2006-2007.
Thompson then left New Zealand and played for Dax in the French Top 14 League. Then it was back to Southland in 2010, Hawke’s Bay in 2011, before playing Super Rugby with the Chiefs in 2012. For the remainder of 2012, he played in the Japan Top League for the Canon Eagles.
In 2014 Thompson returned to the Chiefs, making six appearances before signing with the English Premiership Newcastle Falcons from 2014-2016.
In 2016 he returned to New Zealand to play with the Manawatu Turbos and in 2017 with the Taranaki Bulls. In 2017 he also attended Massey University.
National Team Rugby
Thompson began representative rugby, playing for the New Zealand Under-21s, making eight appearances from 2002-2003.
He played Senior International rugby for Samoa, his grandmother’s home nation, from 2007-2015. The first of his 33 caps came when he debuted against Fiji at Apia on May 19, 2007. His last test was against Scotland at Newcastle on October 10, 2015. During his 33 appearances, he started 29 times.
Thompson also played in three Rugby World Cups in 2007, 2011, and 2015. He started all ten of his appearances.
NOLA Gold Comments
Coach Kane Thompson says that “it’s a very proud moment for me to take on this challenge. I have had the pleasure of being a part of the NOLA Gold team as a player and assistant coach for the previous three seasons and have watched closely as the players have grown as individuals and as rugby players. I am honored to be trusted in this role to build on the foundation that has been laid, as I work closely with the franchise in preparing this group of players to reach their greatest potential for the upcoming season.”