Canterbury Rugby and the Crusaders congratulate new All Blacks

Three more Canterbury and Crusaders players have been elevated to the All Blacks.  Lock Dominic Bird, prop Joe Moody and loose forward Luke Whitelock received the call-up when the squad for the end of year tour was announced today.

Crusaders and Canterbury Rugby CEO Hamish Riach congratulated the players and paid tribute to their coaching teams.

“We are thrilled for these players, who have absolutely earned their call-up to the All Black squad.  These guys have been superb playing for both our Canterbury and Crusaders teams over the last couple of years, and we know they will be just as impressive when they represent their country.

“It is also a credit to Todd Blackadder, Scott Robertson and their coaching teams that these players have come so far.  Once again, Canterbury and Crusaders players are very well respresented in this All Blacks squad so the coaches and team management also deserve some recognition for the great work that they have done with the players in their environments,” Mr Riach said.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder said he had complete faith in the new caps and in all of the Crusaders players selected for the end of year tour.

“We already know down here just how special these players are; now rugby fans around the world will get to see their talent.  We are extremely proud of all of our players, but in particular the three new caps, Dom, Luke and Joe, and also Ryan Crotty and Tom Taylor who have gained selection after being called into the squad as injury cover during the year,” Blackadder said.

Canterbury Head Coach Scott Robertson added his congratulations and said the entire Canterbury team will be celebrating alongside those who gained selection today.

“We are a very tight team here in Canterbury and the players that have been named in the All Black squad today are all incredibly well respected by their teammates.  I know that the entire team will be excited for those selected and keen for them to thoroughly enjoy this moment.  I also know that these players will take it in their stride and give the Canterbury team all they’ve got in this last week of the ITM Cup competition, because that is the sort of world-class players they are,” Robertson said.