Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder to join England's Bath

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) " Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder has confirmed he will join English club Bath as director of rugby after spending eight years as head coach of the Christchurch-based Super Rugby franchise.

Blackadder's assistant, former Fiji center Tabai Matson, will also join Bath as the Crusaders pair replace departing coaches Mark Ford and Neal Hartley. Bath placed ninth of 12 teams in the last English premiership.

Blackadder, a former New Zealand All Blacks and Crusaders lock, steered the Crusaders to six Super Rugby semifinals in his eight years in charge but failed to add to their seven titles, the last of which was achieved under Robbie Deans in 2008.

The Crusaders reached this season's quarterfinals before being beaten by the Johannesburg-based Lions.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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