Scott Robertson to be All Blacks coach after World Cup

Tue, Mar 21
Scott Robertson

Scott Robertson's crusade to become an All Blacks coach is finally complete with New Zealand Rugby confirming he will take over the national rugby side after this year's Rugby World Cup.

Robertson was officially named Ian Foster's successor this afternoon following a rollercoaster selection process by NZR in recent months.

He put pen to paper on a contract only an hour before being unveiled.

NZR boss Mark Robinson said the process was "contested" but would not be drawn on other candidates.

“It’s an honour to be named as the next All Blacks Head Coach," Robertson said.

"It’s a job that comes with a huge amount of responsibility, but I’m excited by the opportunity to make a contribution to the legacy of the black jersey. To represent your country, as a coach or player, is the ultimate honour in sport and it’s humbling to be given that opportunity. I can’t wait.

Robertson's selection comes after an unparalleled amount of Super Rugby success during his six years as head coach of the Crusaders, building a dynasty that has won six straight titles.

While it was not revealed who else had applied for the job, it is widely believed Japan coach Jamie Joseph was Robertson's biggest competition after Foster and former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt removed their names from the process in recent weeks.

"Having significant time to plan for 2024 and beyond is crucial to setting the All Blacks up for success during the next World Cup cycle," Robertson added.

"I have a job to do with the Crusaders and that will be my main focus through to the completion of DHL Super Rugby, but I will now have the opportunity to work with NZR to get some key appointments in my coaching and management team finalised, so we can hit the ground running next year."

NZR said Robertson’s appointment was unanimously agreed at an NZR Board Meeting this morning before the news was made public.

“We were very happy with the calibre and quality of the people involved and would like to thank all of those who took part in the process. The decision to appoint the next All Blacks Head Coach ahead of the Rugby World Cup was not taken lightly, but we believe it was the right decision for New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks and will set the team up for future success.," NZR Board Chair Dame Patsy Reddy said.

“We congratulate Scott on his appointment and look forward to working together in 2024, but have also been clear that New Zealand Rugby’s full support this year will be focused on the current All Blacks coaching team as we look toward the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France."

Robertson sat between Dame Patsy and Robinson at his official unveiling at NZ Rugby's Wellington headquarters this afternoon and took a deep breath before answering his first question.

"It's good to be here, everyone," he said.

Robertson referenced his All Blacks number - 974, saying: "I've been preparing and getting ready for this opportunity for a long time."

He added that he "respected the boundaries of the current group ahead of the World Cup. It’s great to be here today but I understand my role and responsibilities".

Robertson said he had made emotional calls to his parents and wife Jane, the mother of their three sons.

Asked about missing out on the job in 2019, and the disappointment of last year when he was close again but missed out, Robertson said: "The last three or four years have been a big part of my development. I ask the players to do it so I had to do it as well. I stayed in the fight and here I am now."

When he was asked whether this moment was better than being an All Black, he said: "Ask me that before the first Test match, eh? One step at a time. I haven’t got a whistle in my hand yet."


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