The Crusaders are following the recent trend of employing a four-man coaching panel and have announced a new coaching structure for the 2013 season.
The coaching team will increase from three coaches to four and will consist of a head coach, assistant coach (defence), assistant forwards coach and team attack coach.
All three current Crusaders coaches will be retained in the new structure, with Todd Blackadder remaining the head coach, Dave Hewett continuing as assistant forwards coach and Daryl Gibson taking up the responsibility for team defence. The team attack coach position is yet to be filled and will be advertised externally this week.
Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said this restructure is a result of the review of the 2012 Crusaders season that the coaches, management and Board have been undertaking.
"At the end of any season we conduct a thorough review of what worked, what didn't work, and what we will do differently next time," Riach said in a statement.
"While we are very proud of the team for making the playoffs once again this year, we all want to do even better than that next year. So we've been taking a long, hard look at where our performance this season could have been improved and approached all possible changes with an open mind.
"This is one of the changes that the coaches, management and Board all believe will put us in the best possible position to maximise our performance in 2013."
Blackadder said this new structure is a critical part of taking the lessons from 2012 and turning them into opportunities to maximise the team's chances of success in 2013.
"One of the areas that the coaches identified as needing more of a specialised focus in future is our defence and attack play.
"The reality is that the modern game has evolved to the point where the degree of information, analysis and coaching needs of the players require specialised attention as opposed to simply a generic backs coach. That is why we are moving to having coaches that will have defence and attack as their primary responsibility, as well as the existing Head Coach and Assistant Forwards Coach positions," Blackadder said.