Matthew Brendon Todd (born 24 March 1988) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer. He plays at openside flanker for the All Blacks internationally, for the Panasonic Wild Knights in the Japanese Top League competition and is one of two vice-captains for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby competition.
|Full name||Matthew Brendon Todd|
|Date of birth||24 March 1988|
|Place of birth||Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||105 kg (231 lb; 16 st 7 lb)|
|School||Kaiapoi High School|
Christchurch Boys' High School
|Rugby union career|
Todd began his professional rugby union career, through representing Canterbury in the ITM Cup, in 2009. Todd last played for the club in 2017, opting to sign a one-year deal in Japan in 2018. Todd became the first overseas-based player to represent the All Blacks in 2018. Todd has gained a cult status amongst All Blacks fans.
Todd's started playing rugby at the Kaiapoi Rugby Football Union and went on to play for the Kaiapoi High School first XV. He then took the opportunity of a full scholarship at CBHS. While at Christchurch Boys' High School, Todd appeared alongside future All Black team-mates, Colin Slade and Owen Franks, as well as former Crusader Nasi Manu and current Crusader Tim Bateman.
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In the 2010 NPC season, with teammate Richie McCaw being busy with the All Blacks, he had a chance to start in all of Canterbury's games. His versatility in being able to play blindside and openside flanker has helped Canterbury to win the Ranfurly Shield.
Following an early season injury to McCaw, Todd was selected to play for the Crusaders 2011 season. Todd had previously been in the Crusaders' wider training group in 2010. Todd's presence in the Crusaders saw Richie McCaw switch jerseys, from 7 to 6, with Head Coach Todd Blackadder choosing to field two openside flankers, in order to make Todd a regular starter for the team.
In 2013, Todd played outstandingly in the absence of Richie McCaw, who was on sabbatical. Todd was subsequently selected for the All Blacks by Head Coach Steve Hansen. Todd made his international debut for them during a 24-9 victory over France on 22 June 2013, replacing fellow rookie Sam Cane off the bench in the 72nd minute. Todd was also used off the bench against South Africa that year.
After missing international rugby in 2014, Todd played against Samoa in Apia, in 2015, replacing veteran Jerome Kaino the bench for a one-off test match, which the All Blacks won, 25-16.
After missing the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Todd was re-selected for New Zealand in the 2016 Rugby Championship following a leg injury to Sam Cane. Todd earned the first two starts of his international career in the series, against South Africa and Australia, where New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup. He was notably named Man of the Match in the final Bledisloe Cup Test, before being replaced by Ardie Savea in the 65th minute, as the All Blacks beat Australia 37-10. Todd's outstanding performance against Australia saw him taken on the 2016 end-of-year tour, where he played in a further two tests.
Todd played the full 80 minutes against the touring British and Irish Lions side for the Crusaders on 10 June. The Crusaders lost 3-12. Despite performing well in his Super Rugby campaign which included a start in the 25-17 Grand Final win over the Lions, Todd was not selected for the All Blacks' Lions series squad or the initial squad for the 2017 Rugby Championship.
After Jerome Kaino paused his training with the All Blacks due to personal reasons and went to represent Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup, Todd was re-selected and started against Argentina in a scrappy 36-10 win where he received the first yellow card of his test career and was replaced by Ardie Savea in the 65th minute. Todd made four more appearances for the All Blacks in 2017, including three on the bench as a replacement for Sam Cane on the end-of-year tour.
Todd captained the Crusaders numerous times during the 2018 Super Rugby season, with Ryan Crotty and Sam Whitelock suffering multiple concussions each through the season. Todd was later chosen as Crusaders' Player of the Season by his team-mates as the team beat the Lions, in the Super Rugby final, for the second year in a row. The Crusaders won against the Lions by 37-18 and claimed their ninth Super Rugby title.
Although Todd was performing very well in comparison to Ardie Savea, who was struggling with injury, during Super Rugby, Savea was again chosen over Todd for the All Blacks' mid-year test series, which was against France. Todd was again called into the All Blacks, however, with Sam Cane struggling in regards to discipline, while Liam Squire and Vaea Fifita were struggling with injuries. Todd was named on the bench for the third test of the Steinlager series, on 23 June 2018. Todd replaced the injured Savea only 17 minutes into the test, scoring his first international try only minutes later. Todd starred against France as the All Blacks won 49-14.
After the conclusion of Super Rugby, Todd signed a high-profile one-season deal with Japan-based club, the Panasonic Wild Knights. Todd missed the 2018 Rugby Championship with his commitments to the Wild Knights, but was called in for the injured Sam Cane for 2018 the end-of-year tour. Todd subsequently became the first overseas-based All Black upon his re-selection.
Todd played three tests off the bench during the end-of-year tour, replacing Ardie Savea in all of them. Todd unfortunately did not manage to make much of an impact towards New Zealand's 9-16 loss to Ireland, only playing for four minutes during the test.
- "Edinburgh new signing Nasi Manu open to Scotland call - Rugby union - The Sport Review". 3 July 2015.
- "All Blacks openside Matt Todd wins them over with his big Eden Park effort". 23 October 2016.
- "Openside flanker Matt Todd rewarded with top gong by Crusaders". 11 July 2018.
- "Move to Japan too good to turn down, says All Blacks flanker Matt Todd". 12 July 2018.