Crusaders unveil replacement for outgoing Scott Robertson

Dylan Coetzee
New Crusaders head coach Rob Penney

The Crusaders have announced that Rob Penney will be the club’s head coach from 2024, with current boss Scott Robertson set to leave to take over the All Blacks hot seat after the Rugby World Cup.

Penney is no stranger to the Crusaders having been part of Robbie Deans’ coaching team in 2005 whilst guiding Canterbury to four NPC titles between 2008 and 2011. He also ran out for more than 100 games for the region as a player.

Since then the tactician has had coaching stints at Munster and the Waratahs and he has also been in Japan, initially coaching the NTT Communications Shining Arcs and currently the Japan U20s ahead of their U20 Championship in South Africa later this month.

Excited to get started

Penney is excited to get involved with the Crusaders environment but admits his focus is firmly on his current role.

“I’m excited and honoured to have been selected to lead the coaching group at the Crusaders from 2024 onwards,” Penney said in a statement.

“The Crusaders franchise has a strong history and record of success and excellence, both in on-field performance and off-field culture, and I’m excited to immerse myself into the environment.

“While I’m excited to get started, my focus for now remains firmly with the Japan under-20 side.”

Penney will be joined by former Crusaders and All Blacks flanker Matt Todd as well as Tamati Ellison, Dan Perrin and James Marshall as the assistant coaches.

Leadership and experience

Crusaders chairman Grant Jarrold believes Penney is the right selection to take the club forward given his leadership and experience.

“Rob impressed us with his leadership qualities, his experience, and his proven ability to innovate on and off the field,” Jarrold said.

“Our existing coaching group is experienced and has an intricate understanding of the Crusaders way. As a board, we are excited about Rob’s ability to add to this group and guide both our coaches and our playing group to success.”

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