All Black Thorne gets a Canterbury coaching job
TRANSFER NEWS: Former All Blacks, Crusaders and Canterbury forward Reuben Thorne will return to the national provincial competition in 2018, as Forwards Coach for the Canterbury National Provincial Cup side.
Thorne joins Head Coach Joe Maddock and Assistant Coach Nathan Mauger at the helm of the team, who will head into the 2018 season seeking their fourth consecutive national title.
Canterbury Rugby Union CEO Nathan Godfrey said Thorne has the experience to complement Maddock and Mauger: "We are thrilled to welcome Reuben Thorne to the Canterbury coaching group this season. Reuben has both the pedigree and respect to engage our young playing group, and help develop the next generation of leaders.”
Canterbury Head Coach Joe Maddock said Thorne’s experience and leadership would be invaluable: "Reuben is a natural leader. By nature, he is quiet and considered, but we know from his playing days that he always leads by example, so he is a welcome addition to the team in 2018 and I’m confident he has a lot to offer not only our players but also our management group,"
Thorne represented the red and blacks on 71 occasions between 1996-2011, including as a member of the national title-winning sides in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2011. He captained both the Crusaders and the All Blacks during his career, leading the Crusaders through their unbeaten Super Rugby season in 2002, and captaining the All Blacks to 20 wins in 23 matches.
Thorne’s transition to coaching included a senior rugby role with High School Old Boys in 2011 and 2012 and time as Technical Advisor with Honda Rugby in Japan. He has assisted in a number of position-specific coaching roles with the Crusaders and Canterbury sides and is the current Head Coach of the Christ’s College First XV, a role he has held since 2016.
"It’s shaping up to be an exciting rugby season ahead, and I’m really looking forward to continuing in my role with Christ’s College and building on the progress we have made in recent seasons.
"This is also a great opportunity for me to return to the Canterbury rugby environment and give back to a team that means so much to me. I have no doubt it will be a big challenge to build on the recent success that Canterbury rugby has achieved, but it is one I am certainly looking forward to," Thorne said.
"There is a fantastic culture here at Canterbury Rugby - one that inspires success - so to be able to contribute to that, first as a player and now as a coach, is a special opportunity and one I intend to make the most of,"