The 56-Test All Black, and current Tasman coach Leon MacDonald is already excited about his move to the Blues for the 2019 Super Rugby season.
Leon was named last week as the assistant coach for the Blues under coach Tana Umaga for 2019.
In fact he played for the Crusaders in 2003 Super Rugby final, when the Blues won the title, and remembers that moment and the successful Blues teams of that era.
“The Blues teams that we encountered they were physical and they were abrasive and they were nearly impossible to beat at home.
I’ve seen what the Blues can be like and it’s fresh in my memory, so to be sitting inside this room is a little bit surreal to a degree, but it only takes one day to start rubbing shoulders and you become really passionate about your team and I’m looking forward to meeting the players here.
“I can’t wait to be involved coaching a team at Eden Park as the home ground.”
After one year as an assistant coach for the Crusaders, Leon returned to his home in Blenheim, but nearly two years on, the time was right for him to move.
“In terms of a rugby challenge then this is the biggest and best there is. The Blues have not performed to their potential and
I am excited by that challenge. The talent here is huge, I am encouraged by the number of key players who are signing on for long periods at the Blues. The facilities at the Blues are outstanding and the support here is impressive.
“It is also the right time for my wife and my family – so they are looking forward to it.”
He will take on the reins as back attack coach which was a key to his decision.
“That is the role that I am passionate about.”
It will also reunite Leon and Tana who coached together in the successful New Zealand Under-20 world championship winning side of 2015.
He will coach Tasman in this year’s Mitre-10 Cup before heading north.