Canterbury and New Zealand Under-20 rugby coach Scott Robertson has been appointed to succeed Todd Blackadder at the Crusaders.
Blackadder is stepping down at the end of this season after eight years as coach of the Super Rugby side.
Robertson beat two of Blackadder’s assistants, Tabai Matson and Dave Hewett, for the job.
The former All Blacks loose forward says the appointment is like a dream come true.
“This is a team I have played for, am passionate about and looking forward to leading,” he said.
“The head coach of the Crusaders is regarded as one of the best jobs in the world, so I couldn’t be more excited to be taking it on.”
The Crusaders have won a record seven titles and are leading the competition during the June international window.
Robertson, 41, said he was humbled and honoured to be stepping in the shoes of those who had come before him.
He will continue as Canterbury coach for this year’s national provincial championship before starting in his new role.
His contract is through to 2019 and his assistants will be decided at the end of this season.
Robertson’s credentials include guiding Canterbury to the provincial crown in two of the past three years, after stepping up as assistant.
He also took the NZ under-20 side to the 2015 junior world championship title last year, although he couldn’t repeat the feat in England, with the team missing out on the semi-finals this week.
Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said Robertson had the ability to be a success in Super Rugby and was ready for the step up.
“We had a highly contested process with some exceptional candidates, so that made it a very difficult decision in some ways,” he said.
“However, we are very excited about what Scott Robertson offers this team and thrilled to be appointing him to the role.”