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New Crusaders assistant coach Tamati Ellison, left, and head coach Scott Robertson at English Park in Christchurch this week.
Tamati Ellison’s addition to the Crusaders’ coaching staff means Scott Robertson received’t be stretched in pursuit of a fifth-straight Tremendous Rugby crown.
He is all the time had 4 assistants since taking the reins in 2017, however there was a suggestion the Crusaders would roll a man down in 2021 after Welshman Mark Jones opted not to return last month.
Primarily, having a fourth assistant – yet another than the Highlanders – is extra vital than lowering their wage invoice at a time the worldwide pandemic has hit New Zealand Rugby and the 5 franchises within the pocket.
“Personally, [a fourth assistant] permits me to step again a bit and see the large image stuff, moderately than be hands-on on the sector,” Robertson mentioned.
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“He’s performed in a number of totally different groups and been beneath some nice coaches. So, he’ll convey his personal flavour to that have and it lets me focus with the next view.”
Ellison will help with crew defence and position-specific participant growth, a job Andrew Goodman did earlier than being elevated to backs coach when Ronan O’Gara left after the 2019 marketing campaign.
The Crusaders had about 10 days from getting a whiff Jones may not return for a second season to getting affirmation he wouldn’t be again.
Jones accepted a job as senior assistant coach with English premiership membership Worcester Warriors, and wished to stay near wider-family in his homeland.
It’s meant a “crash course” for 37-year-old former All Black Ellison, who arrived in Christchurch final weekend and stepped on the coaching paddock on Monday.
“The crash course continues to be going. Get again to the workplace after this and get throughout the element. It is fairly vital for me to have issues proper in my head, so I can ship. It is going to be a busy week however the help has been actually good,” Ellison mentioned.
Earlier than the Crusaders got here calling, the four-test All Black was set to return to Japan, the place he was just lately a player-coach within the Japanese Prime League with Kurita Water Gush.
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Ellison, additionally part of the Wellington Lions teaching group within the nationwide provincial competitors final yr, didn’t want his arm twisted when the provide got here.
“It was a large alternative, one thing I most likely hadn’t thought of, actually, being Wellington born and bred, ex Hurricanes man, but it surely’s positively an honour and looking out ahead to moving into the work.”
Whereas his teaching portfolio isn’t bulging, Ellison has performed for a raft of groups, and beneath among the greatest coaches within the enterprise.
Ellison pointed to Japan head coach Jamie Joseph with each Wellington and the Highlanders, Wayne Smith with the All Blacks, and Tony McGahan on the Melbourne Rebels.
“I’ve all the time most likely been, not essentially a coach’s pet, however I’ve sat within the coach’s workplace over my profession. I used to be by no means a ok rugby participant, so I needed to do one thing else,” Ellison mentioned.
“I’m unsure about age, it’s most likely a quantity. It relies upon how passionate you might be and the way a lot work you’ve already accomplished.”
Ellison’s appointment means the Crusaders have a former Hurricane within the combine, whereas the Wellington-based franchise has a former Crusader – pivot Tyler Bleyendaal – on their teaching employees.
Labelled a “hell of a bloke, and an awesome upcoming coach” by Robertson, Ellison mentioned it was instantly clear how self-driven and keen the crew was to be taught.
“I’ve acquired a number of good mates which have come by right here. With the ability to add my bit to the legacy might be probably the most thrilling half.”