Blackadder excited to follow in his dad's footsteps

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The Crusaders and Tasman loose forward said he was looking forward to extending those processes with the All Blacks.


"I'll go into this environment pretty keen to learn and see how else I can grow. It's exciting," he said.


Blackadder was at home at his flat playing on his Xbox with a flatmate who had the team announcement playing on his phone.


"It was pretty buzzy," he said of his selection.



A congratulatory conversation with his father Todd, the former All Blacks and Crusaders captain, followed.


He said it was only in his late teenage years that the desire to repeat his father's All Blacks status had started, and it was nice to follow him in achieving that. He hadn't been into his rugby earlier, but he started enjoying the game as he took small steps through provincial rugby to Super Rugby.


“There was never any pressure [to follow his father's success], it was sort of my own journey.”

Ethan Blackadder


Troubled by injuries, especially last year, Blackadder said selection came as a reward for those frustrating times.


He said 2021 had been a fresh year, and with his body in good shape, it offered a clean slate playing-wise while it also allowed him to start working away at where he wanted to get to.


While being unable to play due to injuries had its frustrations, he said there was an element of enjoyment in starting at the bottom in rehabilitation and piecing his game back together.


"I didn't mind it, you come back better physically. You just feel a lot fresher. Obviously, you haven't played so you feel pretty good once you're back playing and training," he said.


Blackadder felt it had been in his attack game that he had improved this season. He had learned a lot from the Crusaders' coaching team and teammates.


He had a role change in the team set-up and learned a lot.


It was also pleasing to have his Tasman teammate David Havili back in the side. It had been five years since he last played for the All Blacks, and, in that time, he had never dropped his head, he said.


As far as provinces making up the squad Tasman had the best representation in the side, something he wasn't aware of but said it was special.


"It's [Tasman] has come a long way quickly and we're proud as punch, I bet the whole region is too," he said.



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