The Crusaders have finalized their coaching staff for 2024, with Penny confirmed as head coach and Crusaders centurion Matt Todd taking the final position in the group.
The appointments of Penny and Todd complete a thorough process to fill the roles left vacant by the departures of Robertson and Scott Hansen to take up roles with the All Blacks next year.
Crusaders coaching group for 2024: Rob Penny, Tamati Allison, Dan Perrin, James Marshall and Matt Todd.
Penny said the existing coaching group was “strong and confident” and he was looking forward to taking up his role in the group.
“I am delighted and honored to be chosen to lead the coaching group at Crusaders from 2024,” said Penny.
“The Crusaders franchise has a strong history and track record of success and excellence, both in on-field performance and off-field culture, and I’m excited to immerse myself in that environment.”
Before Penny tasted success as a coach around the world, he was a Canterbury rugby defender. A free forward, he made his debut in 1985 and played over 100 games for the region before hanging up his boots in 1994.
He was assistant coach at the Crusaders in 2005 when we won the Super Rugby Championship and led Canterbury to four consecutive NPC titles from 2008-2011, with Scott Robertson as one of his assistants.
In 2012, he was the head coach of the New Zealand under-20 national team, and then became the head coach of the Irish club Munster, where he led the team to the semi-finals of the European Cup in the 2013/2014 season. He left Ireland in 2014 to sign a three-year deal with NTT Shining Arcs in Japan.
He coached the Waratahs from 2019 to 2021 during a tumultuous period for the club and is now the head coach of Japan’s under-20 team, which travels to South Africa on June 24 for the Rugby World Cup U20, where a number of current Crusaders are playing. playing for New Zealand.
“Although I’m excited to get started, I’m currently focused on the Japan U20 team. I enjoyed watching the Crusaders this season and I’m going to watch the boys compete for the title again,” Penny said.
Crusaders chairman Grant Jarrold said Penny stood out from the other candidates because of his experience, maturity and consistent success.
“Rob has impressed us with his leadership, experience and proven ability to innovate on and off the field,” said Jarrold.
“Our existing coaching group is experienced and has a sophisticated understanding of the Crusaders’ journey. As a Board of Directors, we are excited about Rob’s ability to add to this group and lead our coaches and our playing group to success.”
New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Professional Rugby and Performance Chris Landrum added: “[Penney is] a highly experienced head coach who has proven himself throughout his coaching journey in New Zealand, including continued success with Canterbury in the NPC, and provides continuity after playing in the Crusaders legacy as an assistant coach. He has Super Rugby and overseas experience and is a great example of someone who has worked hard in his profession.”
Rob Penney will join the Crusaders from August 1.