In a news flash dated April 1, the relief of fans was heard right across the Canterbury plains when the Crusaders’ (based in Christchurch, New Zealand) Scott Robertson signed a Super long-term deal*
‘Timed to perfection’ the news flash was that Robertson was to settle the final key major signing of Super Rugby 2021 that will see a unique long-term deal see him through till the coach decides to take his retirement. In other words, the word out of Christchurch is – Razor is Coach for Life!
The Crusaders’ head coach has been in talks with his franchise since the end of 2020. Now, in a revolutionary move that goes further than the official retirement age for New Zealand, Robertson has secured a firm contract for the remainder of his life.
As the recent signing of Roger Tuivasa Sheck proves, pointing attention on the Super Rugby franchises is certainly ‘good for business’. And retention of established and successful names can do the same – so having Razor wearing red and black into his golden years would be a big coup for the Crusaders’ organization.
Rumoured for some time, the news flash comes coincidentally in the month of April* was proof Scott Robertson’s fresh approach to rugby does not stop on the training field. Negotiating a contract to the retirement age is certainly committing to his beloved franchise…..for a near lifetime. And he did it all with a grin on his face.
News Flash; Crusaders’ Scott Robertson signs Super long-term deal*
Wanted by some of the biggest clubs and nations around the globe, Scott Robertson may have found that a long-term plan is best. He has done well domestically; in the Mitre 10 Cup and Super Rugby arenas, with the risk that International nations would tempt Razor away that has seen the rules ‘thrown out’ altogether.
And fittingly on April 1st, an announcement like this took the rugby media by surprise because…….Happy APRIL FOOLS Day*.
I think today Razor has created a new dance move. It's called 'imagine if I could coach until I'm 90 years old'………Yeah, Nah #AprilFools
— scott hornell (@scotthornell73) April 1, 2021
But in all seriousness, Robertson is a Diamond in the Rough
Quality can come through in all grades. From a pristine cut diamond – think a Lebron James or for the Crusaders, a Richie Mo’unga. Yet, others are ‘diamonds in the rough’. And the Crusaders Scott Robertson suits that grading.
He has led the franchise to three consecutive Super Rugby titles, and his was the very best in the inaugural Super Rugby Aotearoa season to add yet more trophies into the (already) overloaded one in Christchurch. But while happy to direct his beloved red & blacks, the ascension to leading his nations pinnacle side is on the ‘to do list’ for the 46-year old.
One thing that he is famous and well respected for, is his honesty.
There is no denying it though, a part of the reason that Scott Robertson failed in his application for the All Blacks coaching role in 2019, was down to International inexperience. Apart from some early attempts at coaching in France, he returned to New Zealand, and to his one representative term. That was as the 2015 championship-winning Under 21 sides coach. A successful resume, yet not judged on the same par as Ian Foster’s.
Fans will hold differing personal opinions on it that topic, the decision-makers thought that Foster held a better resume. And Robertson has said publicly that he intends to further his coaching skills either locally but quite logically, overseas. “One of the reasons I played in France, was to learn French. To coach there one day. If that’s the right thing and the right timing, then great. I’ve got some options.”
Although, now due to COVID-19, the ability to easily return to France where he played for Perpignan in the early 2000s is quite impractical. So in respecting that travel to both Europe and to Japan is more likely to face obstacles currently, he now appears likely set to stay in New Zealand for the next year at least.
Back in September, Robertson said, “NZ Rugby has been really open and really clear that they want to keep me here, and that is my intention”. As the freedoms to export talent around the world eventually becomes reality, many would think that unless he finds a pathway to higher honours then offers offshore will not wait for April Fools Day 2022.
(While the April 1st joke brings a chuckle, it could also be a short-term remedy if the Crusaders’ Scott Robertson is both available to, and has the ambition to coach somewhere other than in Christchurch).
The Crusaders first published their April 1st social media post at 8 am NZT.
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