Crusaders' name-change debate settled for now
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: There might be loads of speculations, however, one thing is certain the Crusaders will not change their name… just yet.
The recent reports that have been making headlines claim that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the chief instigator in terms of the Crusaders name-change.
According to New Zealand media reports Ardern is plying pressure on the Super Rugby champions following the terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques on March 15.
However, the Prime Minister denied those speculations, claiming it’s ‘odd and inaccurate’
Crusaders Chief Executive Colin Mansbridge revealed that the name-change decision will be made by New Zealand Rugby and franchise after thorough research has been completed.
“There have been no decisions made around the name and the Prime Minister will not be making that decision,” CEO Mansbridge told reporters.
“What’s happening currently is that there is research being done by Research First, so in 2019 nothing changes.
“However in the back end of the season, we will be making announcements that will be decisions made by the board of the Crusaders, and the board of New Zealand Rugby.”
“I’m certainly not surprised about the speculations, just show how passionate the people are about the franchise,” he added.
Crusaders Forwards Coach Jason Ryan has confirmed his coaching future is with the club, signing with New Zealand Rugby and committing to the Crusaders through the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
2019 is Ryan’s third season with the Crusaders, having helped guide the team to consecutive Investec Super Rugby titles in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Prior to that, he worked with the forwards in the Canterbury provincial team for five years, initially as a Scrum Coach and then as an Assistant Coach in 2015 and 2016. In five provincial seasons, he won four Premiership titles.
Ryan also has national experience with the Black Ferns in 2014, and New Zealand Under 20 team for three seasons.
“Jase took a leap of faith a few years back when he first set out coaching, and we’re extremely fortunate he made the decision he did. He progressed steadily through the coaching ranks with the Canterbury provincial team and has been an integral part of the Crusaders’ success in securing back-to-back Super Rugby titles since he came on board in 2017.
“As well as being a quality coach, he’s a quality man and I look forward to his continued contribution as part of our team. We are thrilled to retain a coach of Jase’s calibre beyond our 2019 season,” Mansbridge said.
Crusaders Forwards Coach Jason Ryan revealed: “I’m excited to re-commit to the Crusaders for the next two seasons, working alongside world-class players and coaches in an environment that’s constantly challenging me to be better.
“I have a great relationship with Razor and really value the opportunity to express my own personality in the way I coach. In the end, the decision to continue to work for a club with such a proud history and a drive for continued success was an easy one to make.”
Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson said: “Consistency and cohesion are really important within our team, and our coaching group is no exception. I’ve worked with Jase for a number of years and there is a huge amount of trust and respect between us, which is important for the success of any organisation.
“Jase continues to get the best out of our world-class forward pack, and his development of our young front-rowers has been instrumental in achieving what we have over the past two seasons. I’m looking forward to his input beyond our 2019 campaign,” Robertson said.
Additional sources: @NZStuff