Crusaders coach Scott Robertson on All Blacks coach shortlist
Champion Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has confirmed he wants to succeed Steve Hansen as All Blacks mentor and is buoyant about his chances. The man who steered the Crusaders to a third successive Super Rugby crown on Saturday revealed he has been granted an interview in early December for what will be a vacant All Blacks coaching berth.
The New Zealand Rugby interview process takes place a month after the Rugby World Cup, which will mark the end of Hansen’s eight-year tenure. Robertson has stormed onto a small shortlist of favourites for the role because of his unadulterated success at the Crusaders.
Without a title for eight seasons before he took charge, Robertson’s impact has been undeniable. Under his watch they’ve lost just five of 56 games on the way to a “three-peat”, matching the feat he achieved as a player at the Crusaders from 1998-2000.
The 44-year-old said he will enter the interview process with confidence. “I’m a pretty optimistic person. If you have a crack I’d like to think you have a chance,” he told TVNZ. I’ve got to prepare as best I can to put myself forward, I’ve done what I can do.
“Hopefully I’ll have a great interview, all going well, and if they want someone, they know who they’re getting with me.”
The other leading candidate is likely to be long-time All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, who has helped maintain a period of dominance for the world’s top-ranked side.
Foster’s chances may hinge on whether New Zealand can lodge a historic third successive World Cup triumph in Japan. There are no other obvious Kiwi-based contenders for arguably the most sought-after coaching post in world rugby.
Heavyweight options who have succeeded offshore such as Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt have effectively ruled themselves out.