The BNZ Crusaders 2018 awards dinner was held at Christchurch Casino’s Sixty6 on Peterborough last night, in celebration of the team’s efforts so far this season and in recognition of those who have made an important contribution to the Crusaders jersey in 2018.

Awards were presented for the BNZ Crusaders’ Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year and Champion Crusader of the Year – an award voted for by the team and presented to the player whose off-field contribution is just as influential as the work he does on the field.

BNZ Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said the night was a celebration of Crusaders rugby and the many staff, sponsors, players and management involved in making the organisation a success: “The Crusaders family is fortunate to be made up of a great group of people, and to be able to come together and celebrate both our on-field and off-field success in 2018 was particularly special. We congratulate Ethan, Matt and Codie as our award winners, and thank all of those involved for their support so far this season. 


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“It was also a fantastic opportunity for us to give Razor, Sam, and the BNZ Crusaders team our very best wishes for the Finals series. Last night we reflected on what has been a great season so far, but we did so knowing there is still work to do leading in to the playoffs and as an organisation we wanted to show the team that we are right behind them,” Riach said.

As well as the team awards, special mention was made of the 16 new players who have worn the Crusaders jersey for the first time in 2018, and a presentation was made to Crusaders double centurion Wyatt Crockett, acknowledging his 200thCrusaders appearance against the Chiefs on Saturday 2 June. Other milestones recognised on the night included 50 Crusader caps (Mitchell Drummond, Scott Barrett, David Havili and Michael Alaalatoa) as well as 100 Crusader caps (Luke Romano).

BNZ Crusaders Chairman Grant Jarrold also made a surprise presentation to outgoing CEO Hamish Riach, who earlier this year announced he would step aside at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season. Riach was acknowledged for his 17 years of leadership at the Crusaders.

BNZ Crusaders 2018 award winners:
Rookie of the Year: Ethan Blackadder
Presented by BNZ Crusaders Captain Sam Whitelock
Player of the Year: Matt Todd
Presented by BNZ Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach
Champion Crusader of the Year: Codie Taylor
Presented by inaugural Champion Crusader award winner Tim Bateman