Crusaders

Deans backs Hammett for Crusaders job

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Outgoing Crusaders coach Robbie Deans says that he believes his assistant Mark Hammett was the right man to take over at the helm of the Crusaders.


Deans spoke in the post-match press conference and said that he felt he not only left the franchise in incredibly good health, but that he did so with a ready-made successor on hand.


When asked who he thought should take over from him, after an incredible eight-year run that netted five titles and seven appearances in the final, Deans nominated his assistant Hammett as the logical successor.


“Hammer’s good to go I believe,” said Deans to RugbyHeaven after his side produced a heroic defensive performance to win a stirring final.


“The key with an orgnisation like this is foundation. Whoever comes in has to understand. He (Hammett) has been a foundation member since day one.


Deans also mentioned another former Crusader in Todd Blackadder as another whom he believed would coach the franchise at some stage.


“Then you’ve got a guy like Todd Blackadder. Both of those guys will coach the Crusaders. It needs to be someone who understands the past and is prepared to be courageous and build for the future.


“I believe we’ve got some people within the organisation good to go to that end. It’s one man’s opinion but I believe we’ve got what we need within.


“Either of those two could do it.”


Hammett has been Deans’ assistant for the last two years and played 81 matches for the Crusaders between 1996 and 2003.


Blackadder has held a technical adviser role with the Crusaders since returning from a spell in Scotland and is considered one of the greats to have played for the franchise but he is a little short on hands-on coaching experience. He will however will guide Tasman in this year’s provincial championship.


Deans heads for Australia now to coach the Wallabies and bows out with a remarkable record. Since he took over as coach the side has made seven finals in nine years, winning five titles.


Only once under his tutelage have they failed to make the playoffs. He was also part of the first two title triumphs in 1998 and ’99, as team manager for Wayne Smith.


“It’s been a great experience,” added Deans. “It’s just great to be part of it. The place is in good shape, there’s some good men here who will keep it going.


“There’s depth there now, a young group coming through. DC (Dan Carter) was out for a while there and it rumbled on. There’s a new generation of players coming through who will serve the Crusaders well, just as are the coaching crew. It bodes well.”


Deans added that he would spend much of his Sunday packing and that he had no regrets as he heads off to begin a new chapter in his career. “I just consider myself incredibly lucky to have been part of this organisation. None of us are here forever, but the critical thing is it carries on.


“I’m looking forward to coming back and being entertained by these blokes next year.”


“There’s a great opportunity in front of them now. The World Cup is coming in New Zealand and it’s a huge opportunity to showcase New Zealand.

 

“I really hope they do that well. I see my piece of the puzzle as making sure it’s not a one-horse race and making sure the event itself is competitive.”

 

Super14.com

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