Howe’s Chris is on a Crusade to boost his coaching skills

Howe of Fife Rugby club coach Chris Martin has been selected to train with the Christchurch Crusaders for the next two weeks.

In 2008 the Canterbury Rugby Football Union established an International High Performance Unit (IHPU) to offer select players, coaches and support staff an opportunity to visit the inner workings of the organisation in one of the world’s most beautiful and rugby fanatical countries.

Current Scotland caps Jonny Gray, Finn Russell and John Barclay have all attended the IHPU as players and current Glasgow coaches Gregor Townsend and Mike Blair attended the coaches IHPU very recently.

Former Howe player and Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Ian Rankin also attended the IHPU at the beginning of his professional career.

Martin is now set to join those ranks and has been selected to attend the IHPU as an upcoming coach.

Chris, who flew to New Zealand earlier this week, will be working alongside some of the world’s leading coaches including former All Blacks, Scott Robertson, Rueben Thorne and Leon MacDonald, as well as being in the Crusaders environment with the likes of current All Blacks, Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and Israel Dagg.

A spokesman for the Howe said Martin’s spell in New Zealand would be both beneficial for himself and the club.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Chris, but very importantly, for the Howe and what Chris can bring back to the club,” the spokesman said.

“On returning from New Zealand, Chris will share his experience with all the club coaches and players who wish to gain an insight into the super rugby and New Zealand rugby environment through a presentation evening at Duffus.”

IHPU Elite Training Programme includes five alumni players who participated in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The Crusaders coaching staff have nurtured and developed many past and current All Blacks including captain Richie McCaw, and IRB World players of the year Kieran Read and Dan Carter.

The Elite Programme is targeted at aspiring professional rugby players who have already excelled to a reasonable level.

The Crusaders are the most successful Super Rugby franchise in the 20-year history of the competition.

Holding seven titles, they played in the final 16 times in the last 18 years.

The Crusaders are the only Super Rugby team to complete a whole season undefeated. Crusaders coaching staff have nurtured and developed many past and current All Blacks, including past captain Richie McCaw and IRB world players of the year, Kieran Read and Dan Carter.

For further details on the programme, please visit crusaders-ihpu.com