New Cardiff boss Mark Hammett is “really proud” of his Hurricanes achievements and the platform he has left for Chris Boyd.
New Cardiff Blues coach Mark Hammett admits he is “really proud” of what he achieved at the Hurricanes and the platform he has left for Chris Boyd.
Hammett, who took over at Westpac Stadium in 2011, enjoyed four seasons at the Super Rugby franchise but first had to make several tough decisions.
“When I came here it was a real mess,” Hammett told sportal.co.nz.
“I was disappointed actually, when I came here to see the work that had to be done.”
The 42-year-old subsequently confirmed the departures of Ma'a Nonu and Andrew Hore while Piri Weepu and Aaron Cruden also moved on to pastures new.
“People ask me all the time if I have regrets around the first year and how it was handled,” he added.
“I regret the state it was in and that there was a lack of leadership. There were some character flaws and there were professional standards that were nowhere near (where they should have been).”
“(I regret) that I had to be the person to come in and unfortunately make the really tough decisions around what I felt needed to take the place forward – around professional standards, around leadership, around character, around hard work.
“Now I'm really proud that (Boyd) has got a base, a foundation of really good people who are hard-working on and off the field and with some really good character.
“I'm really hoping that the Hurricanes will be successful moving forward.”
A sign of his success at the 'Canes was highlighted by captain Conrad Smith's assessment of Hammett's departure to the RaboDirect PRO12 region.
“It is not often a head coach leaves and none of the players actually want him to leave. We all love him and love what he's done for the club. He will be sorely missed,” Smith said.
“We get judged on our performances and rightly so. But I think a lot has to be right in the back room for those performances to happen. We've got a bit of that sorted. Now it's up to the players to cap off the performances.
“I always look back and think man it would have been nice if I'd been man enough to stand up.
“But at the same time you appreciate that I was still just happy doing my thing within the Hurricanes environment and then playing All Blacks. I was happy with how rugby was for me.”