Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger have been confirmed as the
Crusaders' new assistant coaches for next season.
Matson, who took Canterbury to ITM Cup success this year in
his first season as head coach, and Mauger, who assisted him,
have replaced Daryl Gibson.
Gibson resigned after his role was downgraded to a defence
position. He has since signed with the Waratahs in Sydney.
The process to appoint Matson and Mauger, who will assist
head coach Todd Blackadder and forwards coach Dave Hewett,
was a long one. It was understood to have been lengthened due
to the need to finalise the contract details for Matson and
Matson will give up his role as Canterbury coach in order to
coach the Crusaders. Mauger will still be involved in the ITM
Cup, however, with Scott Robertson likely to take a wider
role at Canterbury after his previous duties as an assistant.
Like Gibson, Matson and Mauger are former Canterbury,
Crusaders, and All Blacks midfielders.
"There is a real buzz of excitement around the management
team," said Blackadder. "The new appointments bring so much
enthusiasm, positivity and valuable skills and experience
with them. I am really excited about working with them over
the coming season to make this Crusaders team the best it can
"Bringing our coaching resource up to four dedicated coaches
to allow a more specialised focus on our defence and attack
play was one of the key requirements we identified in our
review of the 2012 season. With this coaching team I believe
that we have the right mix of experience in the different
facets of play to perfectly complement our players and bring
out the best in each of them."
Former Canterbury trainer Mark Drury has replaced Carl
Jennings as the Crusaders trainer. Jennings has departed for