Former Kings coach Brad Mooar joins Crusaders

Christchurch Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders have appointed current Southland Stags Head Coach Brad Mooar to their coaching team for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Former Southern Kings assistant coach Mooar will replace Assistant Coach Aaron Mauger who is leaving to become the Head Coach of the Leicester Tigers.

Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said they had conducted a lengthy and thorough process to find the most suitable replacement for Mauger and they are satisfied that Mooar is the right man for the role.

“We were excited to see Brad apply for the role because he has a fantastic mix of coaching experience and valuable off-field experience as a former solicitor. He is familiar with this environment, having played and coached in Canterbury and Mid-Canterbury, but he will also bring a fresh perspective to the team,” Mr Riach said.

Mooar progressed through the Canterbury age grades as a first five-eighth, reaching Canterbury B level before moving to Ashburton to gain more playing time for Mid-Canterbury because Andrew Mehrtens was playing at 10 for Canterbury. He played for Mid-Canterbury from 1997-99 and then played some rugby overseas before returning to Christchurch to give coaching a go.

His first coaching role was with the Christchurch Rugby Club Colts and then the club’s premier team from 2007 to 2011. In 2011 he became the Assistant Coach of the Canterbury Colts. In 2013 he moved to South Africa to coach the Eastern Province Kings to a Currie Cup Division 1 title, then become Assistant Coach of the Southern Kings Super Rugby side under Matt Sexton’s leadership. He returned to New Zealand to take up the Head Coach and Director of Rugby role at Rugby Southland in 2013.

Mooar said the opportunity to return with his family to Christchurch and become part of the Crusaders coaching group was too good to pass up,”It’s humbling to have been offered the opportunity to join the Crusaders ranks and be part of the next stage in its life.”

“It will be a really exciting time to come on board with the changes amongst the playing and coaching groups and even the competition itself, and being part of that should be right up my alley as we look to add to the Crusaders story over the next few years.

“I’d like to acknowledge the opportunity I have had to work at Rugby Southland and to coach the Stags. It has been an awesome couple of years for my family and I am grateful to the Board, staff and wider Southland rugby community for that. I’m going to enjoy my final ITM Cup campaign with the 2015 Stags and then look forward to the next challenge with the Crusaders.”

Paul Menzies, Chairman of Rugby Southland, commented,”We are, of course, very sad to be losing Brad Mooar as our Director of Rugby, High Performance and Head Coach of The Stags. Brad has made a considerable contribution, not only to The Stags but also to players and coaches at all levels. “

“His inspirational leadership and excellent management skills and approach have been a tremendous asset to both the business of Rugby Southland and to rugby in Southland generally. He will be sorely missed. Having said that, we wish him every good luck with the furtherance of his coaching career and we are pleased that he is remaining with us to take The Stags through their 2015 ITM Cup campaign.”

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder said he was confident Mooar would have a positive impact on the Crusaders team in 2016,”Brad has proven himself as a very capable coach, and he is also a really savvy, smart man who I know will challenge this group to be better. That is exactly what we are looking for, so we are thrilled to be welcoming Brad to the team for 2016.”

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