With a beaming smile, Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson has done enough to secure the All Blacks head coach role from 2024 on.
Secure in his four-year upcoming role, he has impressed the majority of decision-makers. Impressed the New Zealand Rugby (NZR) board, the selection panel and a large number of All Blacks supporters. Many are buoyant in their reactions to the decision to bring in a new coach before the 2023 Rugby World Cup. And the smile could not be removed from the new coach’s face all through his first official press conference.
Scott Robertson's first words as the new @AllBlacks Head Coach 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/7u8IHAd9fW
— Sky Sport NZ (@skysportnz) March 21, 2023
Although, he is NOT the All Blacks current head coach, [the timing might not be perfect yet it is a modern reality] Razor is mindful not to undermine Ian Foster; notwithstanding a process that has been handled deplorably. ‘Shambolic’ some might say, with news that Foster called his management team together to sit down and share the ‘peace pipe’. And pointedly, some of those involved in this process may not themselves be present when Robertson picks up his All Blacks blazer in early 2024.
The CEO himself is directly a target of open criticism and may feel the knives being sharpened as he left the NZR media stage on Tuesday afternoon.
So the happiest person in the Wellington NZR offices was Robertson himself. The largest of smiles, blushing at times. Holding back his emotion, he told reporters “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.
This opportunity has been a professional objective of the six-time Super Rugby-winning coach. A goal he will have held for nearly four years now. Sometimes nearly within reach, when Ian Foster’s poor All Blacks record very nearly saw him replaced in September 2022. Now it is official; from 2024 onward.
Razor ‘revved up’ to drop in as new All Blacks head coach in 2024
From the AllBlacks.com webpage, it stated; the 48-year-old father of three, Scott Robertson was appointed following a robust interview process and will announce further key appointments to his coaching and management team in coming months before officially taking up his new role following the conclusion of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
That process was one that is highly unfamiliar and divisive. It has made for a huge distraction, even if the All Blacks are not scheduled to play until late July. Yet what it did do was create a huge external distraction, drawing in questions and comments from All Blacks. Those might have become influential to the general public. So when the appointment process began on March 2, it brought the indecision to a close.
Now after the evaluation of candidates, Robertson has been judged the right man to lead the All Blacks across the next World Cup cycle.
Proud would be an understatement… ❤️ Scott Robertson will be your new All Blacks coach from 2024 onwards 👏
Read more: https://t.co/Y5nHBh31EJ pic.twitter.com/3exWc679OG
— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) March 21, 2023
With the question over the ‘who’ now closed, the when and how should be another conversation – one aside from everything the current All Blacks coaching group hopes to achieve, and gracefully, Robertson explained that it was one he would “not interfere with”.
He was quoted as saying; “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. I have a job to do with the Crusaders and that will be my main focus through to the completion of Super Rugby, but I will now have the opportunity to work with NZR to get some key appointments in my coaching and management team finalized, so we can hit the ground running next year.“
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said; “I’d like to congratulate Scott on his appointment. His coaching record speaks for itself in terms of success, but what came through strongly during the interview process was his innovative approach to the game, his passion for his players, and his desire to add to the All Blacks legacy.
“We firmly believe he is the right person to lead the team in 2024 and beyond.”
By selecting the next coach earlier than is normal, they secured the services of Robertson before other nations might have ‘snapped him up’. Though Robertson said in his press conference that he was “loyal” and had been anxious to assume the role for some time. In February, comments that he thought the NZR decision might have been “days away” were rebuked, yet the uncoordinated approach from the national organization itself made for an unsettling period for the union. Now hopefully, the chaos will settle, so that the 2023 plan can proceed – with the next All Blacks head coach in place after the New Year.
- Ian Foster was out of New Zealand at the time of the announcement, in long term preparations for RWC2023
- Scott Robertson will continue to lead the Crusaders through Super Rugby Pacific
“Main photo credit courtesy of TVNZ website“