I Coach because its my Passion. I love the challenge of being creative, and igniting players to be the best they possibly can, both on and off the field. Having a safe environment helps players learn, build leadership and team culture. I am a strong believer that as a coach you have to care about people and show this through your actions and always make time. To earn respect from players, coaches, management teams and the general rugby public you have to live by your standards and be honest. We take pride on “micro detail” and ”technical delivery” on Scrum, Lineout, and general forward play. We consider Front Row Club to be a program with huge potential and a world leader in this specialist coaching area. We have presented set piece philosophy & techniques to young aspiring players as well as coaches and players at the highest level

MINDSET First never follows – Same as last year wont be good enough

MentorMike Cron says “There is a strong need for front row development right across the board. I am right behind Jason & his concept!

Owen Franks – Testimonial

“Jase really pushed me as a player. He has world-class detail and work ethic. He is always trying to make players better and he is honest.  “

Corey Flynn – Ambassador

” What excites me is that Front Row Club can offer the whole package to do with Scrummaging and set piece. Good set piece is crucial to the expansive game we all like to play so if you are a player, coach amateur or professional team Front Row Club can help with specific requirements for this area.”

Former All Black Owen Franks and Crusaders coach Jason Ryan launch scrum machine


Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan, left, and former All Black Owen Franks have teamed up to launch Iron Back Scrum.

Jason Ryan and Owen Franks are no longer on the same team, but that didn’t stop them banging their heads together and creating a potentially game-changing scrum machine.

Crusaders assistant coach Ryan and Hurricanes prop Owen Franks last week launched Ironback Scrum, a machine three New Zealand Super Rugby teams have already purchased, and one already generating overseas interest.

Unlike a typical scrum machine, Ironback Scrum is suited to individual players honing their scrummaging technique, regardless of what position they play in the forwards.

“I think its point of difference is safety. Whether you’re a 15-year-old school or club player, or a world leading tighthead prop that’s played 100 plus tests, you can use this machine,” Ryan said.

“There’s not enough front rowers at the moment in the world. So this is something that can help.

“You can work on specifically your technique, understanding what a good strong pushing position is before you put seven or eight other guys around you on a scrum set in the middle of the park. That’s what we love about it, it’s a good coaching tool, as well as a tool that can make scrummaging safe for everyone.”

The Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders have all ordered the IronBack Scrum machine.

Already the Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes have ordered the Christchurch-made machine, which weighs 140kg and can be loaded with up to 260kg.

Ryan and All Blacks centurion Franks want to get the product into schools and clubs, and are currently negotiating with a couple of rugby suppliers eager to become the global supplier for their creation, which they are yet to settle on a retail price for.

“If I was a young kid, or a coach coaching young kids into their first season of scrummaging, this would be a great tool. Almost like a warrant of fitness to make sure their technique can stack up,” Franks said.

“We just thought if you don’t have a good technique, it can be quite dangerous. Especially when they start pushing at 11 or 12. A kid that age, the body is growing, and you can easily screw that up with bad technique.”

Franks, the fifth-most capped Crusader (153), worked with forwards coach Ryan at the red and blacks between 2017-2019.

When the 34-year-old departed for Northampton, he left the half-ton monstrosity of a scrum machine he’d had made for himself after the 2015 World Cup in the Crusaders’ gym.

The IronBack Scrum machine former All Black Owen Franks and Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan made.

Ryan and the Crusaders utilised it until Franks returned last year and repossessed his machine, prompting the pair to discuss building something similar, albeit streamlined and more practical.

With Franks rehabbing a busted Achilles, and Ryan not on tour with Fiji due to the pandemic, they teamed up with West Melton engineer Michael Fitzgerald and got to work late last year.

There was no shortage of trial and error, and plenty of thought went into everything from the name to the density of the foam in the pads.

“It’s a bit different to the one I had,” Franks said. “This one is smaller, more compact…we’ve made the binding handles specific to the tighthead and loosehead and hookers, anyone that can push in a scrum.”

Owen Franks, left, Codie Taylor and Jason Ryan pictured during a Crusaders training session in 2018.

The pair, who plan to keep construction in Christchurch, had eight machines made to start, and didn’t go into the venture with any specific expectations.

However, highlighted by two rugby suppliers touching base, initial interest had “gone a bit mad”.

“There has been a lot of interest about it, and obviously the fact Owen is behind it from a playing point of view, and myself as a coach, it’s the perfect sort of pair,” Ryan said.