The Crusaders have described John Kirwan's approach of Tabai Matson as an "intolerable" distraction and are likely to take it further with New Zealand Rugby.
Matson and chief executive Hamish Riach faced the media at the Crusaders' Rugby Park base this afternoon to announce Matson was remaining with the Crusaders. It will bring an end to two weeks of speculation about Matson joining the Blues from next year which has come to a head in recent days.
"The Crusaders have been lucky on two fronts in my view," Riach said. "One, that Tabs' has been so open internally, so there's been no side-swiping or surprise for us. And secondly, we've been very lucky it's been bye week because this sort of distraction it just intolerable in a team environment and we've been able to get through that while the boys aren't here."
Matson is believed to have visited the Blues this week, but he refused to confirm or deny that.
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"I won't delve into the detail but I have had initial conversations with the Blues and today really is about stopping the speculation," he said. "I'm having no further conversations and I'm really committed to finishing the campaign and we've got a big month in front of us so that's my full focus from now."
An added difficulty for the Crusaders has been that Matson, who confirmed he would stay at the franchise until at least the end of 2016, is on a New Zealand Rugby contract.
That puts the Crusaders or any franchise at a disadvantage if the national body decides a coach would be more useful somewhere else, and Riach said further discussions with NZR were likely.
"At the appropriate time we'll start having those conversations about whether there are lessons to be learned about his process," he said.
Riach said it would be helpful if some "parameters" around mid-season approaches were put in place but conceded it would be difficult.
"Coaches are well known, they have colleagues all over the country. What amounts to a conversation that causes an on-going story compared to a conversation that is just colleagues talking - it's going to get pretty grey."