Super Rugby
Blackadder re-signs with Crusaders
ESPN Staff
July 28, 2013
Crusaders captain Richie McCaw and coach Todd Blackadder are disconsolate in defeat, Reds v Crusaders, Super Rugby Final, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, July 9, 2011
Richie McCaw and Todd Blackadder reflect on their 2011 Super Rugby title loss © Getty Images

The Crusaders have handed head coach Todd Blackadder a new one-year contract despite not having won the Super Rugby title in the five seasons the former All Black has been in charge of the side.

The Canterbury-based franchise crashed out of the 2013 Super Rugby competition on Saturday evening to the Chiefs with Blackadder's side losing out 20-19. The defeat was their fourth semi-final loss in five seasons, a record which stands alongside their 2011 final defeat to the Reds.

But despite former coach Robbie Deans, who delivered five titles for the Christchurch side, being available following his departure from Australia, the Crusaders management have backed Blackadder for a further season.

And they are also hopeful the rest of Blackadder's coaching team will stay with their website reporting assistant coaches Dave Hewett, Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger's contract negotiations "are in the final stages".

"We are delighted to re-sign Todd for another season and to be in advanced conversations with all three assistant coaches," Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said. "This year was the first year that we have had a coaching resource made up of four dedicated coaches.

"It has allowed the Crusaders a more specialised focus on our defence and attack play and we are pleased with the foundation the coaching staff have developed over the course of this season.

"Todd is a tremendous coach and inspirational leader and has the full backing of everyone at the Crusaders. We are delighted that he has re-signed to take us into another season."

And Blackadder, who won 12 caps for the All Blacks, is already turning his sights to next season. "As a new coaching group we have learnt a lot this season and I am delighted that the board have shown their faith in us and our ability," Blackadder said. "Within our management team we have some amazingly enthusiastic, positive and experienced people and it is a pleasure to be able to work with them.

"I am looking forward to continuing this partnership over the coming season to make this Crusaders team the best it can be."

Kieran Read charges forward against the Chiefs but it proved to be in vain © Getty Images
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