Robertson to replace Blackadder at Crusaders

Scott Robertson has been named as the new coach of Crusaders, replacing Todd Blackadder from the start of 2017.

Former All Blacks loose forward Robertson will take over from Blackadder, who has announced this season will be his last, and through to 2019.

Robertson is coach of Canterbury, a job he took in 2013 and has achieved success in with two premierships, having previously been an assistant.

The 41-year-old believes he is ready to coach Crusaders, who have been dominant in Super Rugby this season with 10 wins from their opening 12 games.

"This is a team I have played for, am passionate about and looking forward to leading. The head coach of the Crusaders is regarded as one of the best jobs in the world, so I couldn't be more excited to be taking it on," Robertson said.

"When I think about the remarkable men who have done the job before me, including current head coach Todd Blackadder, I am humbled and honoured to be stepping into their shoes. 

"The previous and current coaching teams have built an impressive legacy and I take the responsibility of continuing and building on that legacy very seriously.

"The playing group is a great bunch of men who I am excited to work with; I will give everything to this role and am ready to take on the opportunity."

Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach welcomed the appointment of Robertson, who made 23 Test appearances for New Zealand from 1998-2002.

"Scott is a highly skilled coach who we believe is absolutely ready for the step up to Super Rugby," he said.

"He has been an important contributor to the incredible success that the Canterbury team has enjoyed over the past eight years and he has also earned respect on the world stage as head coach of the New Zealand under-20 team.

"We had a highly contested process with some exceptional candidates, so that made it a very difficult decision in some ways. 

"However, we are very excited about what Scott Robertson offers this team and thrilled to be appointing him to the role."