Matson in 2015
|Birth name||John Tabaiwalu Fakavale Matson|
|Date of birth||14 May 1973|
|Place of birth||Nausori Hospital, Fiji|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||104 kg (16 st 5 lb; 229 lb)|
|Occupation(s)||Professional Rugby Coach|
|Rugby union career|
John Tabaiwalu Fakavale Matson (born 14 May 1973) is a New Zealand rugby union coach and a former New Zealand and Fiji rugby union representative. A centre, Matson represented Canterbury at a provincial level and the Crusaders in Super Rugby. He was a member of the New Zealand national side, the All Blacks, in 1995 and 1996, playing 10 matches but no internationals. He played two matches for Fiji at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
Matson, an assistant coach for the past 3 years for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby competition. He has held both Attack and Defence roles for them during his time and is a specialist backs coach.
After Coaching the Māori All Blacks in their test victory against the Flying Fijians in June 2015, he joined Fiji where they went on to win the Pacific Nations Cup in Vancouver, Canada and then onto the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
He returned to New Zealand in 2009 acting as Canterbury assistant coach, before promoting up to head coach in 2012. He led Canterbury to their fifth consecutive ITM Cup title by winning the 2012 ITM Cup which set potentially an unbeaten run of victories in arguably the toughest Provincial Rugby Competition in the world.
In 2012 he was hired by the Brazil Rugby Federation as a consultant as they began their journey towards the Rio Olympics. He was focused on staging a training camp for the National Men's 15-a-side team and the Women's 7's team.
In 2009 he help to reinvigorate the oldest Senior club on the gold coast as the Director of Rugby and Head coach of the 1st Grade Team they went on to win the Club Championships (in his absence as he joined Canterbury as an assistant near the end of the season).
Matson formally played and coached Yamaha Júbilo in his final 3 seasons for the club. He went on to become assistant coach and player at the University of Queensland before becoming head coach of the Gold Coast Breakers in 2007.
- Knight, Lindsay. "Mac Geddes". New Zealand Rugby Museum. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "Tabai Matson". International High Performance Unit. Canterbury Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- "Tabai Matson to be part of the Flying Fijians during the Rugby World Cup". Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "Fiji survive Samoan fight-back to win Pacific Nations Cup". Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "Brazil tours New Zealand on Olympic rugby mission - China.org.cn". china.org.cn. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "RugbyNet - Gold Coast Rugby Union Football Club Inc (Eagles)". goldcoasteagles.rugbynet.com.au. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- "Rugby" (PDF). The Bulletin. Nelson College: 7. April 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
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