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Crusaders undergo leadership revamp as Dan Carter hands over vice-captaincy

Last Updated: 20/02/13 11:37am

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Dan Carter: Unburdened after giving up vice-captaincy

Dan Carter: Unburdened after giving up vice-captaincy

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Dan Carter will be stepping down from his vice-captain position, a decision made by Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder in the hope of rejuvenating the All Blacks star.

A collective vice-captaincy duty will be shared between midfield-back Ryan Crotty and flanker George Whitlock instead, and back-rower Kieran Read will lead the seven-time champions until Richie McCaw returns in July.

With Carter demoted, the Crusaders will face their first match against the Blues this March with their restructured leadership group.

According to Blackadder, Carter is happy with the decision.

He told Fairfax Media: "A lesson learned from the past is that when you have got guys in the All Blacks leadership roles, and they have that added responsibility, it just doesn't stop when they leave the field.

"We just want them to come back to the Crusaders and play well rather than have the expectation that they have to lead."

Blackadder now hopes that removing the burden of the vice-captaincy role will allow Carter to focus more on his on-field performance.

"He probably won't go to as many leadership meetings but he will contribute in other ways," Blackadder added.

"And that is because he wants to - not because he has to. And there is a real difference there."

Blackadder also revealed that he has kept in contact with Zac Guildford, who left the Crusaders after an alcohol-related incident to undergo counselling.

It's still uncertain if Guildford will return this season as he awaits confirmation of when his misconduct hearing will take place by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

"The NZRU are the people he has to front up to ... But the Crusaders would love to have Zac Guildford back as a new man with a clean slate."

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