Legendary scrum coach Mike Cron is set to leave the All Blacks after the 2019 World Cup.
New Zealand Rugby confirmed the decision on Thursday. Cron, known in rugby circles as the ‘scrum doctor’, has spent nearly two decades with the All Blacks during his 37-year coaching career.
Cron will now focus on mentoring younger coaches and up-and-coming players.
‘I’ve been incredibly lucky and had a wonderful career coaching at international level, and I’m really looking forward to this last year with the team,’ Cron said.
‘It will be my fifth Rugby World Cup this year [four with the All Blacks and one with Wales], so it is the right time to step down from the international game.
‘That’s my other passion. As well as coaching younger players and helping them, hopefully, reach their potential, I’m also keen to help out the young coaches of the future, so looking forward to doing that.’
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that Cron would be missed.
‘He’s one of those guys I’ve leaned on from day one of my coaching career. Initially, that was around scrummaging, with Canterbury and the Crusaders, and then with Wales. Then I suggested to [former All Blacks coach] Graham Henry that we bring him into the All Blacks.
‘His ability to teach anyone – younger, older, male or female – is world renowned and the greatest gift that Crono has is his ability to always keep learning and to keep giving. I’ve seen him coach club, provincial, Super and international rugby, plus even a stint overseas, all in the one year.’
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