Former All Black captain Blackadder to coach Crusaders


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Former All Blacks lock Todd Blackadder will succeed Robbie Deans as coach of the Canterbury Crusaders Super 14 rugby team, the Canterbury Rugby Union said Wednesday.

Blackadder, 36, a former Scotland assistant coach, will be assisted by two former All Blacks, hooker Mark Hammett and center Daryl Gibson.

All three are former Crusaders players.

“I have a passionate desire to keep the Crusaders at the pinnacle of world rugby, to build on the legacy of the past, and to freshen, stimulate and lead the organization into the future,” Blackadder said.

“Most importantly, I’m delighted that we have been able to put a really strong coaching team together and I look forward to working with Mark, Daryl and the rest of the team in the coming months.”

Blackadder captained the first Crusaders team in 1996 and led the franchise to three Super 14 titles before his departure in 2001. He played 25 tests for the All Blacks, including 14 as captain.

He was Scotland assistant coach in 2003 and 2004 and head coach of the Edinburgh club in 2004 and 2005. On his return to New Zealand he became a technical adviser to the Crusaders and later coach and director of rugby for Tasman province.

Deans left the Crusaders at the end of winning 2008 Super 14 season to coach the Australian national team and is preparing for his first match against his native New Zealand in a Bledisloe Cup encounter in Sydney on Saturday.

Sapa-AP –

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