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Crusaders bring in Sunwolves assistant

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Crusaders bring in Sunwolves assistant, leaving Japanese side with no obvious head coach for farewell season

The Crusaders have announced that current Sunwolves assistant coach Scott Hansen will join the Canterbury-based Super Rugby champions next season as a replacement for Brad Mooar.

Hansen has signed with the Crusaders on a two year deal.

Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said: “We are thrilled to confirm another world-class coach will be joining our club, in preparation for the 2020 Investec Super Rugby season.

“Scott Hansen has worked closely with Razor and Jase in the past as part of the Canterbury Rugby environment, and has since gained an immense amount of coaching experience overseas.

“We believe Scott will complement our existing coaches superbly, and we look forward to welcoming him back to Christchurch at the conclusion of Japan’s Rugby World Cup campaign.”

Head Coach Scott Robertson added: “I’ve known Scott a long time, he’s a proud Cantabrian, and a former Crusader who stepped away from the coaching environment here in order to gain valuable experience overseas. He’s an incredibly hard worker and we have a great connection having coached together previously, so I value his input immensely.”

Hansen and Robertson coached the Canterbury provincial side in 2013 and 2014, winning the national title in the 2013 season. Hansen’s departure from New Zealand saw him assist with both the Canadian national side and Aaron Mauger’s Leicester Tigers. In 2017, he joined the Japanese Top League as Assistant Coach of the Kobelco Steelers, and made the move to Super Rugby as an Assistant Coach at the Sunwolves in 2018 and 2019. Hansen will assist the Japanese national side at the 2019 Rugby World Cup alongside Jaime Joseph and Tony Brown.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to return home and reconnect with Razor and Jase at the Crusaders, after a number of years in rugby environments abroad,“ Hansen said.

“The Crusaders organisation is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence, with loyal supporters from within the region and around the world. I’m looking forward to working with staff, management, and players in the coming seasons and contributing to the proud legacy of Crusaders rugby.

“With a number of fantastic coaches and many world class players leaving to take on new opportunities and experiences, this is a really exciting time to be joining the club. While my current focus is helping Japan achieve our goals at this year’s Rugby World Cup, I look forward to returning to Christchurch at the end of the year and tackling the next challenge in my coaching career.”

With Tony Brown returning to New Zealand for 2020 as well as Hansen’s impending departure, the Sunwolves will lose their two top coaches for next season. 2020 will be the Sunwolves last year in the competition and may struggle to field a team, given that the competition will run alongside Japan’s Top League.

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Crusaders bring in Sunwolves assistant, leaving Japanese side with no obvious head coach for farewell season