Tabai Matson

'We didn't have flyhalf cover': Quins boss Tabai Matson heaps praise on late call up Will Edwards

Smith was ruled out of ‘Big Game 13′ after it was revealed on Boxing Day that he tested for Covid, but the England fly-half will be available for Sunday’s trip to Gloucester.

In his absence, Edwards made his second Premiership start of the season and the 26-year-old shone in front of a 72,785 crowd by setting up two of the champions’ six tries.

“Will was exceptional,” Matson said. “We didn’t have flyhalf cover and people don’t realise how hard it is to step into the breach like that. He kicked his goals and got us around the park. He adjusted well.

Harlequins senior coach looks to 'add value' for Premiership champions

Quins parted company with head of rugby Paul Gustard in January, but went on to finish fourth last season and win the title for the first time since 2012.

"I am not taking over anything. It is about how we strengthen the culture," he told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

"It is about getting on the boat and making sure I'm paddling in the same direction as everybody else."

Matson, who played internationally for New Zealand and Fiji, brings a range of coaching experience to the Twickenham Stoop.

Tabai Matson leaves Super Rugby franchise

In a statement the Chiefs say his time has come to an end with the completion of his three year contract.

Warren Gatland took over as head coach of the Chiefs this year, although he is scheduled to lead the British and Irish Lions in South Africa next year with Clayton McMillan signed up to control the team in his absence.

There is no indication of the contract status of the other Chiefs assistant coaches Neil Barnes, Roger Randle, David Hill, Nick White and Andrew Strawbridge.

Super Rugby coach turns supermarket security guard during coronavirus lockdown

The Super Rugby season is on hold so Matson, Sunwolves flanker Mitchell Jacobson and other members of the Hautapu Rugby Club have been helping out as security at Cambridge’s New World supermarket.

“Supermarkets are a war zone,” Matson told Radio Sport‘s D’Arcy Waldegrave.

“Over the plast four or five days, as people tried to hunker down, I think the supermarkets have been the focal point of a lot of attention.

“I’m really helping out for some of the guys on long, long shifts. I go in for a couple of hours so they can have a lunch break.”

Flying Fijians not taking the Tongans lightly

The Chiefs backline coach in this year’s Super Rugby knows what to expect when taking on the Tongans.

“It is really an important game. We really want to perform well in our last official test match before the world cup.”

“It is a Pacific Challenge against one of our old foes. It is really important because Eden Park is going to be home game for Tonga,” he said.

Matson adds selecting the first line up against the Ikale Tahi.

“There have a lot of selection debate, which is great. It shows the depth and the quality of players we have across all positions now.”

Blackadder and Matson off to Bath

Blackadder who is leaving the Crusaders after eight years as head coach, has signed a three year deal with English club Bath.

Tabai Matson, who has been Blackadder's assistant at the Crusaders, is also joining him at Bath having signed a four year deal with the club.

Blackadder said while he would miss the Crusaders set-up and friendships, there were some things he certainly would not miss.