James Marshall to join Crusaders as backs coach

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Marshall, 33, who played for the Hurricanes, Tasman and Taranaki, was an assistant coach with the Makos, and his appointment continues a highly-productive link between them and the Crusaders. Goodman followed a similar path.

 

Moving into coaching when hip surgery ended his playing career in 2020, Marshall replaced Carlos Spencer at the Hurricanes.

 

"Jason Holland asked if I'd take over his [Spencer] role for the remainder of the season. It was a case of one day I was in the changing room with the players, the next I was up in the coaches box talking about the players and all my mates. It was a pretty quick transition," he said in a Crusaders' press release.

 

But he moved to Nelson as an assistant coach for the Makos under Goodman and Shane Christie.

 

"Out of nowhere, Razor [Scott Robertson] gave me a call and asked if I'd be interested in filling the massive shoes of Andrew Goodman.

 

“Although I promised the family I would put a stop to moving around for work, when Razor comes calling, probably the most successful coach in Super Rugby, and asks you to come to the most successful franchise, it was a no brainer.”

James Marshall

 

"I've always admired the success of the Crusaders from the outside and wondered what goes on behind the walls. So, I'm excited to get started and work with him, and the rest of the coaching staff, who are all world-class coaches in their own right," he said.

 

With recent memories of playing against many in the Crusaders' squad, Marshall believes he will settle in quickly.

 

"There's not many players I don't know, both through coaching at Tasman and my playing days.

 

"I feel like I'm going into it with a bit of knowledge around what the guys are like. I'm looking forward to working with them as a rugby coach, and to try to feed them whatever info I can.

 

"They're all world-class players as well, so I'm sure they can teach me a few things too," he said.

 

With playing experience with London Irish in England and the Coca-Cola Red Sparks in Japan, Marshall believes that will help him in coaching.

 

 

"I think my experience playing around the world has opened my eyes to the different styles of rugby you can play and still be successful.

 

"There's not one right or wrong way to play, as long as everyone buys into the process and understands their game plan. I think that's key to a successful rugby team," he said.

 

Seeing the Crusaders maintain their dominance in Super Rugby is his goal.

 

"The great teams understand that they can't rest on their laurels and need to keep improving. Hopefully, I can offer one or two little things that might make a big difference.

 

"I want to learn as much as I can from the coaches and players involved, and see where we all end up at the end of next season," he said.