Canterbury have announced the appointment of co-coaches to lead their Mitre 10 Cup squad starting next season, with current Crusaders assistants Reuben Thorne and Mark Brown sharing the head coach role vacated by Joe Maddock.
The southern union announced Thorne and Brown would take over the squad this morning and CEO Tony Smail said they're "thrilled" by the appointments.
“We were fortunate to have a number of quality applicants, but Reuben and Mark stood out with their vision for the role, their combined skill set and the valuable cohesion they offer as existing members of the coaching group," Smail said.
“While the CRFU didn’t embark on this recruitment process with a particular coaching structure in mind, Reuben and Mark’s joint application was compelling, and we believe their combined leadership qualities will be hugely beneficial through the next provincial season and beyond."
Thorne brings plenty of experience to the side having represented Canterbury 71 times between 1996-2011, including as a member of the national title winning sides in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2011.
He also captained both the Crusaders and the All Blacks during his career.
“This provincial union means a lot to me, and to be given the opportunity to step up to the role of Head Coach is an honour,” Thorne said.
“Consistency and cohesion in our group is important, and Mark and I are really aligned on our direction for the Mitre 10 Cup programme moving forward.
"We’ve coached together for a few years now so we know we collaborate well, and we were fortunate to learn a lot from Joe Maddock during his tenure as Head Coach, which was beneficial for the both of us."
Brown takes his part in the management having joined the Canterbury coaching group in 2017 as assistant forwards coach, but prior to that he spent four years in charge of the Canterbury Under 19 squad.