Hamilton will work for the most successful side in the history of Super rugby as he moves to the Southern Hemisphere for what he describes as a ‘family decision’.
“It is a massive step taking my whole family over to the other side of the world, but we are really looking forward to it,” says the double-Heineken Cup winner.
“I’ve lived in Christchurch before and I’ve always fancied emigrating there with a young family. I played for a team called Linwood, who are based in Christchurch, during 1994 and ‘95 and my sister emigrated to Australia two years ago. This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. It’s something we have been talking about doing for a long time.
“It’s a great lifestyle out there and that’s part of the reason why I want to go. There’s snowboarding and wakeboarding all within a short drive and my wife is really excited too. I have a two-year-old and a seven-month old child and it will be a big change for all of us.”
Next Sunday’s clash with Newcastle will be Hamilton’s last with Tigers, although he is likely to return as a spectator for the game against the Classic All Blacks at Welford Road on May 25.
“I’ll be joining up with the Crusaders in Brisbane for their game against Queensland Reds on May 7 but I’ll coming back to Leicester at the end of the Super 14 before starting my new job full time at the end of June. I’ll also be working with Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup.”
The 37-year-old, who is one of only seven players to have won five league winners medals with Tigers, joined the club as a No9 18 years ago before beginning his career as a video analyst during the 2002/03 season.
“I have been doing the job with Leicester for five years and before that, they had no technological help whatsoever. It is very new to rugby but has become a massive part of the game. Every club has an analyst and every team has massive libraries detailing teams and players.
“I have been at Tigers for 18 years and it will be difficult leaving a place with so many good memories and so many goods friends. But this move is something we have always wanted to do and to get a job with the Crusaders will be a great way to go and do it.”