Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reuben Thorne joins Crusaders coaching team RICHARD KNOWLER 24/02/2012

Reuben Thorne has returned to the Crusaders as Todd Blackadder continues to surround himself with old comrades.
The arrival of ex-All Blacks and Crusaders captain Thorne, who played 129 matches for the franchise, as a part-time coach means Blackadder now has seven former Crusaders team-mates assisting at training.
"I am just doing some position-specific work with the locks," Thorne said.
"It just provides things that they can't get during their normal training runs that are specific with their positions," he said.
"It is going to be on-going, it seems, and the guys seem pretty happy with the way it is going."
Aaron Mauger is involved in a part-time role with the backs. When the club season begins, Mauger, along with Thorne, will again coach the HSOB seniors.
Academy manager Matt Sexton has been working with the hookers and forwards, technical adviser Dave Hewett assists the props and manager Angus Gardiner helps out with the loose forwards. All three played in those positions.
Former midfielders Daryl Gibson (assistant coach) and Tabai Matson (skills coach) also played with Blackadder when he represented the Crusaders between 1996 and 2001.
However, Thorne, 37, is adamant there is no chance of him being recruited into the Crusaders if injuries strike.
"I can't see my body allowing it. I don't do that much running any more, I don't know if my knees will allow it," he said.
Last year the blindside flanker/lock, who played 50 tests, was rushed in after Blackadder lost several forwards, including internationals Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read and Richie McCaw, with injury.
Although Thorne has finished playing in Japan, he has maintained contacts there. Last year he returned, along with Mauger, to assist at the Honda club for several weeks.
Coaching, as a fulltime job, was "an option", but he said he was not rushing his plans.
Thorne said he was uncertain whether he would play for HSOB.
"I'm not sure yet," Thorne said. "I think Old Boys are pretty good for numbers, hopefully, so maybe I won't need to.
"But I enjoyed last year when I just played here and there," he said.
"It was good fun."
Ex-Crusaders involved in 2012 setup: Todd Blackadder (head coach), Daryl Gibson (assistant coach), Dave Hewett (forwards technical adviser), Tabai Matson (skills coach), Angus Gardiner (manager), Matt Sexton (academy manager), Reuben Thorne (positional coach), Aaron Mauger (positional coach), Steve Lancaster (high-performance leader).


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