The reason why the New Zealand Rugby Union refused to release Mark Hammett from his contract with the Crusaders was because they are lining him up to become the Hurricanes coach, according to Rugby365
Reports earlier this week linked the former All Black hooker, who is currently an assistant coach to Todd Blackadder at the Crusaders, with a move to the Melbourne Rebels.
However, it is believed Hammett will be named as the Hurricanes head coach for the expanded Super 15 competition next season.
The Wellington-based The Press newspaper reports that Hammett’s appointment will be confirmed by the NZRU.
Hammett will take the reins from retiring coach Colin Cooper, who has been at the Hurricanes helm since 2003.
Hammett, 37, was the forwards coach under Robbie Deans in 2007 and 2008.
He then applied for the Crusaders top job, but was passed over in favour of Blackadder.
The former All Black hooker played 81 matches for the Crusaders between 1996 and 2003.
Hammett has worked as assistant under Blackadder last season and this year.
Among those believed to have been seeking the Wellington-based franchise job, is current Canterbury coach Rob Penney.
The news comes after Hammett was involved in a public tug-of-war this week.
Melbourne Rebels head coach Rod Macqueen revealed the NZRU would not let the former All Black hooker break his contract, which does not expire until the end of 2011, so he could join the new Australian franchise as their forwards coach for next year’s Super 15.
Although Hammett has been unavailable to the media this week, Macqueen was not so reticent and fired some shots at the NZRU for not granting the early release.
Chief executive Steve Tew defended the NZRU’s stance, stating it had invested heavily in Hammett’s coaching career, and then blasted Macqueen and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) for attempting to plunder New Zealand coaching stocks.
Courtesy of Rugby365Tweet