23 Jul 2008

Blackadder appointed Crusaders coach

12:33 pm on 23 July 2008

The former All Blacks captain Todd Blackadder will coach the Crusaders next season, replacing Robbie Deans who's now with the Wallabies.

Blackadder has signed a three-year deal with the New Zealand rugby union and will have former All Black and Crusaders teamates Mark Hammett and Daryl Gibson as his assistants.

Blackadder, who's 36, coached Tasman in the national provincial competition last year and has international coaching experience being assistant coach of Scotland in 2003-2004 and was head coach of Edinburgh in 2004-2005.

Hammett retains the role of assistant coach which he's held since last season and be responsible for the forwards while Gibson will be in charge of the backs.

Gibson's currently coaching in Scotland, where he has been a player-coach with the Glasgow Warriors.

NZRU General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen says the appointment of the trio is an example of the success generated within the region with the Crusaders having a tradition of developing rugby talent which also includes coaches.