Crusaders have added former All Blacks Tamati Ellison to the coaching panel ahead of the 2021 season of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Ellison has vast experience in Super Rugby having represented Blues, Hurricanes, Highlanders and Rebels and made over 100 appearances in a career spanned between 2005 and 2016.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for me to coach at Super Rugby level, as part of a world-renowned team that is full of talented players and coaches," he told the club's official website.
“I look forward to meeting everyone, and sharing some of my experiences as a player both here in New Zealand and overseas. I have no doubt I’ll learn a lot in this Crusaders environment and I can’t wait for the challenge ahead.”
He went on to make his New Zealand debut in 2009 and has played a total of four Tests with his last appearance coming in November 2012. The 37-year-old was also part of the New Zealand Sevens side that went on to win the gold medal in 2006 Common Wealth Games and had represented Junior All Blacks, New Zealand Maori and New Zealand Under 19 teams also.
Ellison was recently player coach for Japanese Top League side Kurita Water Gush and was also involved in Wellington's 2020 season. He will now take the role of team defence and position-specific player development coach with the defending champions.
Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson believes Ellison's experience will be beneficial to the club as they look to build towards the 2021 season.
“Tamati is well respected on and off the field, and we’re excited to have him add his expertise to our coaching group this season.
“He’s a man with a lot of mana, and I know he’ll make a significant contribution, sharing the experiences he had throughout a long playing career as he makes the transition to coaching.”