Rugby: Scott Robertson's All Blacks management group finalised as Tamati Ellison comes on board as contact skills coach

Former All Black and Crusaders assistant coach Tamati Ellison has been appointed to Scott Robertson's team to take charge of the national side in 2024.

With the bulk of Robertson's assistants already confirmed, Ellison has been named as the All Blacks' new contact skills coach, with his specialisation to see him take charge of the tackle and breakdown.

Robertson has appointed Ellison after the two worked together at the Crusaders, becoming an unstoppable force in Super Rugby.

Codie Taylor and Tamati Ellison of the Crusaders.
Codie Taylor and Tamati Ellison of the Crusaders. Photo credit: Photosport

Ellison will remain part of the Crusaders' coaching staff in 2024, working as an assistant coach to Rob Penney, who succeeds Robertson at the helm of the reigning champions.

In his playing career, Ellison notched four appearances for the All Blacks, as well as 53 games for the Hurricanes, and 23 for the Highlanders before a move to Melbourne Rebels in 2014.  

Ellison joins the already appointed assistant group of Leon MacDonald (attack), Scott Hansen (defence), Jason Hollan (backs) and Jason Ryan (forwards) as part of Robertson's team.

Sir Wayne Smith will support the All Blacks' coaching group as it enters a new era for the game in New Zealand, as well as holding a similar role with the Black Ferns.  

Aside from Ellison, the All Blacks have also appointed Paul McLaughlan as the team's new manager, replacing the long-serving Darren Shand in the role.

Shand had been part of the All Blacks' set-up for close to 20 years, after initially coming on board under Sir Graham Henry.

In that time, Shand was part of the group that won the Rugby World Cup in 2011, and defended it four years later in 2015.

He's succeeded by McLaughlan, who joins the All Blacks after holding similar roles with both the Highlanders and the Wallabies.

"We are extremely excited by the mix of top international coaching and management experience, and high quality new personnel, in the team supporting Scott," said NZR General Manager Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum.

"We strongly believe that these are the best people to carry the All Blacks' legacy forward and enhance it further in the coming years.

"We have worked closely with Scott and his team in creating some new roles and are excited to see what this group can achieve."