Hurricanes Head Coach Chris Boyd will leave the club at the end of the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season to take up a new role overseas.
Boyd has been appointed Director of Rugby at English premiership club the Northampton Saints, a position he will take up at the conclusion of the 2018 Super Rugby season, his fourth year in charge of the Hurricanes.
The 59-year-old said it had been a difficult decision, but the right one at this point in his career.
“I’m passionate about the Hurricanes and making the call not to carry on was a tough one, but the opportunity at Northampton presented an exciting new challenge that was too good to pass up.
“With my coaching future now decided I can fully focus on the 2018 season and making sure my final year is a memorable one.”
Boyd, whose Hurricanes contract ends in 2018, said it was important the announcement about his coaching future had been made before the current season kicked off, so to avoid any potential distraction to his squad.
Hurricanes Chief Executive Avan Lee said Boyd’s successor would be announced in due course.
“I think the main thing right now is that with Boydy’s plans for 2019 confirmed everybody’s collective focus will be solely on 2018 and giving the Hurricanes the best possible chance at another title,” he said.
Lee said Boyd’s place in Hurricanes folklore was assured after he led the club to its first Super Rugby title in 2016.
“Boydy’s done a great job and we are sad to see him go, but we understand Northampton is a great opportunity for him and we’ll be wishing him all the best when he heads away.”
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen acknowledged Boyd’s achievements as a coach in New Zealand.
“Chris has made an awesome contribution to rugby in New Zealand, both as a Super Rugby coach and provincial coach, but also to the New Zealand Under 20 programme. Boydy will forever be written into the record books as the first coach to win a Super Rugby championship title for the Hurricanes and his record to date places him as one of the most successful super coaches. Although we will wish him well when he does leave, for the moment, we look forward to seeing him lead his ‘Canes team in this year’s competition.”
Boyd’s record over three seasons stands at an impressive 42 wins from 53 matches with the Hurricanes reaching two Super Rugby finals in 2015 and 2016 before missing out in the semi-final to the Lions in 2017.