All Blacks scrum guru Mike Cron leaving after 2019 Rugby World Cup

Source: 1News

After 15 years helping the All Blacks, scrum coach Mike Cron has announced today he will step away from the national side after this year's World Cup.

All Blacks forwards coach Mike Cron.

Known in rugby circles as "Crono" or "the Scrum Guru", Cron has been involved with the All Blacks since 2004 and been part of management for both the victorious 2011 and 2015 Word Cup campaigns along with numerous other championship wins.

But the 64-year-old said it's time to step away.

"I've been incredibly lucky and had a wonderful career coaching at international level and I'm really looking forward to this last year with the team," Cron said.

"It will be my fifth Rugby World Cup this year (four with the All Blacks and one with Wales) so is the right time to step down from the international game."

Cron said after coaching for 37 years, he wouldn't be quitting for good, but would now focus on mentoring younger coaches and up and coming players.

"That's my other passion.  As well as coaching younger players and helping them hopefully reach their potential, I'm also keen to help out the young coaches of the future, so looking forward to doing that."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was full of praise for Cron upon the announcement.

"Sometimes in life you're lucky to come across a real influencer in your career. For me, Mike Cron is one of those people.

"He's one of those guys I've leaned on from day one of my coaching career.  Initially, that was around scrummaging, with Canterbury and the Crusaders, and then with Wales. Then I suggested to (former All Blacks Head Coach) Graham Henry that we bring him into the All Blacks.

"He is a national treasure."

Cron is the latest component confirmed to leave the All Blacks landscape after Japan, with Hansen and NZR boss Steve Tew also confirmed to depart.