Cape Town - Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has declared his interest in
the All Blacks head coach role as speculation increases over Steve Hansen's
Hansen said he will make a decision before the end of the
year regarding his future, with compatriot Joe Schmidt having ruled himself out
of the race after announcing that he will step down as Ireland coach after the
World Cup and quit coaching altogether to focus on his family.
And Robertson, who led the Crusaders to back-to-back Super
Rugby titles as well as winning the under-20 World Cup with New Zealand, has
emerged as frontrunner for the role along with All Blacks assistant coach Ian
Foster and Wales coach Warren Gatland.
“The All Blacks job doesn’t come up too often. When it does,
you have to have a real good look at it,” Robertson told Reuters.
“The decision from Steve (Hansen) will play a really big part
“The biggest thing for me, that’s served me well, is the
patience side of it, and the ability to get your timing right.
“I’ve got a great job at the moment and I’ve got a big
decision in the next three or four months - what’s going to happen in 2020, and
I’ll just see where the cards fall with other coaches and just see what
opportunities there are.”
Schmidt has transformed second-ranked Ireland into genuine
World Cup contenders and a team without fear of the All Blacks, who they beat
16-9 in Dublin earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Robertson said he understood Schmidt making a
'family decision' and would be probably be back in a year or two as he just
needed to recharge the batteries.
“He’s a great coach, and obviously he’s made a family
decision,” Robertson said.
“He might just need a year or two before he fills the tank
again, but I know international rugby does take its toll.
“It’s rare that you go out on your own terms, and he’s gone
out on his own terms this time. Good on him. It’s a big call and he’s done the
right thing for him and his family.”