Training Team

Who will I train with?

With vast experience playing and coaching in NPC, Super rugby, and international test matches, meet some of the key personnel you will train with…


Reuben Thorne

As a talented and well-respected Former All Black Captain and Crusaders Flanker, Reuben’s reputation has always preceded him. Thorne has been a resource coach for the IHPU for a number of years, specializing in lineouts and contact.

Thorne made his Crusaders debut in the last game of the 1997 season and became Captain in 2002. His natural skill and ability saw him lead the Crusaders to Super 12 victory with 13 wins from 13 games. He is the only Crusader to start and play a full game in all eight finals between 1998 and 2006.

All Black captain for two years under John Mitchell, Thorne played at three World Cups winning 50 Test caps for the All Blacks, captaining them to Tri-Nations titles in 2002 and 2003, and also helping to break the Australian stranglehold on the Bledisloe Cup.

John Haggart
IHPU Manager

John has been involved in coaching since his teaching career at Dunedin’s King’s High School from the mid-1980s, where ex All Black prop Carl Hayman was among his pupils. The former long-serving Otago first-five-eighths became formally involved within the New Zealand age-group system from 1994, assisting with both the national Under-19s and Under-21s. He also coached the Dunedin senior side to a championship title in 1998-99 before taking up a three-year contract as head coach of the Sanix club in Japan.

Haggart returned to Dunedin to join the Otago coaching staff in 2004, as Assistant Coach in 2004 and 2005 while also filling the role as Highlanders defence coach. Otago made the NPC final in Haggart’s second year, beating Canterbury twice during that season. He joined the Canterbury coaching staff in 2006. As a player, Haggart kicked off his senior representative career in 1983, and ‘retired’ a happy man at the end of the 1991 season with 119 appearances and Otago’s first NPC title to his name. He coached Canterbury to Air New Zealand Cup success in 2008 along with Rob Penney.

In recent years Haggart has returned to coaching and has been instrumental in turning the Lincoln University side into a once again recognised force in Christchurch club rugby. In 2015 the Lincoln team won their first senior championship in 34 years, winning the Hawkins trophy. 2015 also saw Haggart return as Assistant coach with the Canterbury ITM Cup Team.

Haggart has managed the International programme since 2008 and is the key point of contact for all players and coaches.

Jason Ryan
Canterbury ITM Cup Assistant Coach and Crusaders Forwards Coach 2017

Jason Ryan, who has been the Canterbury ITM Cup Scrum coach since 2012, prides himself as a specialist coach and has been instrumental in Canterbury winning the National Championship during his reign. Ryan who in 2010, was the founding Director of the Front Row Club Scrummaging Programme which was developed to help players and coaches specialise in this unique, but important area.

Ryan has also assisted Dave Hewitt with the Crusaders since 2012 and in 2015 was appointed scrum coach for the NZ Under 20 team.

Ryan has been appointed Forwards Coach of Canterbury ITM Cup Team in 2015/16 and manages the International High Performance scrummaging program. In 2017, he will coach the Crusaders forwards at Super level.

Dave Hewett

New Zealand Secondary Schools Head Coach 2014-15; Crusaders Technical Advisor – Forwards 2010; Crusaders Scrum Coach 2009.

Former All Blacks prop, Dave Hewett, first joined the coaching team for Super Rugby heavyweights, the Crusaders, in 2009 as their scrum coach. He has been an Assistant Coach for the last six seasons and his expert guidance with the forwards has helped give the Crusaders the reputation of having one of the most effective scrums in the competition.

He also has two years’ experience as Head Coach of the New Zealand Secondary Schools team, who remained unbeaten throughout 2015.

Hewett played 22 Tests for the All Blacks after making his first appearance at age 30. He also played 71 times for the Crusaders, 55 times for the Canterbury provincial team and 35 games for Edinburgh.

Scott Robertson

Scott Robertson, fondly known as Razor to his colleagues is a former Canterbury, Crusader and All Black player.

He debuted for Bay of Plenty in 1995 and went on to play for the NZ Colts. A talented loose forward, he showed his versatility by playing openside and blindside flanker as well as No8. In 1996, he transferred to Canterbury and the Crusaders playing an impressive 86 Super 12 matches for the Crusaders, and 69 matches for Canterbury. Robertson was an integral part of the 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002 winning Super 12 Crusader squads, as well as the 1997 and 2001 Canterbury sides, which won the NPC first division titles. Robertson’s athleticism and distinctive flair saw him called up to the All Blacks in 1998 where he went on to rack up 23 test appearances for the All Blacks over the next 5 years.

In 2003, Razor moved his career overseas and played for Perpignon in France before moving to Japan to play for the Ricoh Black Rams. Returning to New Zealand in 2008, Razor turned his hand to coaching as a skills and defensive coach for Canterbury. A highly successful coach, Robertson became Assistant Coach of Canterbury and was part of the team that took out its fifth consecutive Premiership ITM Cup title in 2012. In 2013 his hard work and winning track record saw him appointed as Head Coach of Canterbury, and he has led the team to 2 National titles in his 3-year reign. 2017 will see him take over as Crusaders Head Coach.

Joe Maddock

Joe Maddock is Assistant Coach for the Canterbury Mitre 10 Cup team.

Maddock comes from Assistant Coach Roles with both the Canterbury U19 and Crusader Knights teams. He is also the Crusaders Academy Coach.

Maddock is a former outside back who began his professional rugby career with the Canterbury Rugby team in 2001. He then debuted for both the Crusaders and the New Zealand Maori team in 2002. He left New Zealand in 2004 to play for Bath Rugby Club. Maddock completed his overseas playing experience with a stint at Treviso Rugby Club and at Saracens Rugby Club, while also picking up some coaching experience as Assistant Coach at Berkhamsted School in England. Since returning to New Zealand in 2013, he has been focused on his coaching and in 2015 won the ITM Cup in his first season with Canterbury.

Renzie Hanham
IHPU Mental Skills Trainer

Renzie has been working with the Crusaders for a number of years. He is a Director of Gazing Performance Systems; an international company that specialises in improving performance under pressure.

He has enormous experience and knowledge having worked with high performance sports teams including the English Rugby Union. He has conducted seminars and workshops for coaches, players and referees.

The programme is fortunate to have a resource such as Renzie and without exception the players have commented how valuable his role has been to them.

Johnny Rea
IHPU Nutritionist

Johnny currently is the Lead Performance Nutritionist for the Crusaders Super Rugby Team, Canterbury ITM Cup Team, Crusaders Rugby Academy and the Tactix ANZ Netball Team. He is also a Nutrition provider for High Performance Sport NZ, providing nutrition support for the carded athletes based in Christchurch.

Johnny also has a private practice clinic, working with a range of athletes, from recreational through to elite in a wide variety of both individual and team sports. Johnny’s programme consists of individual player assessments and nutritional seminars including performance and recovery nutrition.

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