A former Wellington Lions, Hurricanes and All Blacks utility back, Tamati Ellison joined the Crusaders in 2021. Ellison has ties to the Canterbury region through his iwi, Ngāi Tahu and is charged with assisting team defence and position specific player development. He brings a wealth of Super Rugby knowledge as a player after representing the Hurricanes, Blues, Highlanders and Rebels and is quickly making his mark as a coach, after being a player-coach in the Japanese Top league. Tamati is currently part of the Wellington Lions coaching group.
As a player, Tamati also has a number of national honours to his name, pulling on the black jersey for the Junior All Blacks and the Maori All Blacks between 2005 and 2009, and winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal with the New Zealand Sevens team in 2006. In 2009, he earned selection in the All Blacks, becoming All Black number 1099 when he made his debut against Italy on the end of year tour.
Tamati also has a long family history of good rugby players - his grandad played six tests for New Zealand whilst his dad is also a rugby coach, his younger brother plays in Japan, and 2 relatives also play in the NFL in the USA. Not to mention he is also a descendant of Thomas Ellison, who captained the first ever New Zealand rugby side in 1893!