Success of Stags' coaching pair no surprise to Crossan

ON THE SIDELINE: Former Southland and Bay of Plenty fullback Eion Crossan visited Mt Maunganui on Sunday to watch his old teams go head to head.
BARRY HARCOURT/Southland Times/Image ID 111122
ON THE SIDELINE: Former Southland and Bay of Plenty fullback Eion Crossan visited Mt Maunganui on Sunday to watch his old teams go head to head.

Eion Crossan isn't surprised his former Southland team-mates David Henderson and Simon Culhane are having success with the Stags at the moment.

Crossan linked up with the Southland team at Mt Maunganui at the weekend for the Stags' game against Bay of Plenty.

The former Southland fullback saw the fixture as a perfect way to catch up with the Southland team while he was visiting from Sydney where he now lives.

Crossan played 49 games for Southland and 28 for Bay of Plenty in a provincial rugby career that stretched from 1987 to 1996, although it was broken up by four years playing rugby league for South Sydney and Cronulla in the NRL.

There were no doubts, though, where his loyalty lay when he was asked before the Southland-Bay of Plenty game if he'd have a foot in both camps while watching his two former teams go head to head on Sunday.

"No," he said.

"I really want them (Southland) to win this one." While living in Sydney with his wife and two children, Crossan has kept a close eye on how Southland has progressed since his departure, especially with good mates Culhane and Henderson now at the helm.

He admits he was impressed with what he had seen from the Stags coaching pair while staying with the team at the weekend.

"They've got a fair bit of passion about the thing. You can see it when you see them around the players and how they react," he said.

"They've done really well with the team. That's where I go back to the homegrown thing. They are guys that have been there and done it for the province and I don't think you can get that by bringing in a coach from outside. That's just my opinion though. Other people probably have other thoughts," Crossan said, sporting an Australian accent.

Crossan hasn't been persuaded to take up a coaching career since he hung up the boots, with only some brief stints as a kicking coach for the Manly Sea Eagles NRL team being his lot.

His concentration has been firmly fixed on his children and his job in the marketing department of a furniture company.

The Southland Times