Matt Todd is ready for the next step in his rugby coaching career with the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific
At the age of 35, and having played 140 games for the Crusaders, Matt Todd has now been appointed as assistant coach to Rob Penney for New Zealand’s Southern ‘juggernaut’ club.
Todd was well known and respected for his pilfering skills as a number 7, while being strong defensively and leaving it all out on the pitch.
Cane for the All Blacks has the (pilfering) role, however, he is not at the same level as Todd was when he played, this is no slight on Cane because this is a specialist skill and timing is key.
If you arrive at a ruck too early then you could be isolated and if you arrive too late then the opposition has the numbers to win the pill.
There have been questions asked about whether the Crusaders can keep up with their dominance in Super Rugby with the departure of Scott Robertson taking over the All Blacks. But many had the same questions when Robbie Deans left before landing the Wallabies role.
One thing is for sure and that is Canterbury has a rich history of producing the best coaches in Super Rugby.
Wayne Smith, Deans and of course Razor Robertson as examples as each of them had transformed their sides into powerhouse franchises.
To have Todd onboard is an exciting prospect not just to support the head coach but also for the players, as his style of play and leadership was similar to Robertson in his prime.
Todd will bring his experience as an ex-player while installing the values and identity of the Crusaders, opposition teams and supporters are hoping that with Robertson being promoted the Crusaders are now vulnerable.
The Crusaders Rugby Union always used due diligence when appointing a new head coach and his assistants, they would have done the groundwork to find the best candidates.
Todd has now taken his next step in a great rugby career; he was a bolter at the start of his playing days and now this has carried onto his coaching career.
Are the Crusaders vulnerable now?
Maybe for the first season – or maybe not as they won the title last season with a massive injury list.
So, with players back for the 2024 season, they will be eagerly awaiting getting out onto the field again with the aim of continuing the dominance.
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With new players and coaches coming into the team this is the start of a new reign, this could also be the start for Todd to follow in the mould of Robertson.
From a player to a respected and successful coach, many questions will be answered in 2024.