Wellington - Former All Black Scott Robertson was named on Friday as the Crusaders new coach, replacing Todd Blackadder at the seven-time Super Rugby champions from next year.
Robertson, a 23-Test loose forward whose uncompromising style earned him the nickname 'Razor', is currently head of the Canterbury provincial team, which he has led to two titles.
The 41-year-old has strong ties to the Crusaders, playing for them 86 times, including a role in their three titles from 1998-2000.
He also guided the Baby Blacks to the World Rugby Under-20 Championship last year.
"This is a team I have played for, am passionate about and looking forward to leading," he said in a statement announcing his three-year deal.
"The head coach of the Crusaders is regarded as one of the best jobs in the world, so I couldn't be more excited to be taking it on."
This year is Blackadder's eighth season in charge of the Crusaders and he announced last year that it would be his last after the team failed to reach the finals for the first time since 2001.
They currently top the Super Rugby ladder and during his time at the helm have made the final twice and semi-finals four times.
Speculation has linked Blackadder to the vacant coaching job at Bath in the English Premiership.