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'Marcus Smith would be in his element': Mike Brown 'convinced' on Eddie Jones' successor

By Ned Lester
Mike Brown with the ball in hand for the Barbarians. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Ex-England star fullback Mike Brown has thrown his support entirely behind England head coach candidate and current Crusaders head coach, Scott Robertson.


Robertson left a lasting impression on Brown following their time together with the Barbarians team, which claimed two victories and a loss during an unconventional November slate.

With such a short amount of time to bring the ensemble squad together, Brown expressed admiration for how Robertson conducted the week leading into the Harlequins contest.

“I’d heard plenty about his achievements with the Crusaders in New Zealand and he exceeded my expectations,” Brown wrote for The Mail.

“What really struck me is how good he is with people. I’ve played for plenty of coaches over the years but I’ve not come across any who bring people together like Scott did this week.

“He connects with people so well and so quickly. Little things like putting one of the quieter lads in charge of the music so they feel like they’ve got a purpose and belonging in the group.

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“Plenty of coaches can do the tactical and technical bits but not many of them are exceptional motivators too. Scott makes it enjoyable and I think that’s exactly what the England team need.

“You feel comfortable with him straight away. You feel like you can have a normal conversation with him and I think England would really benefit from that human touch.”

Robertson has made his priorities crystal clear in regard to his coaching future; the All Blacks head coaching role sits atop his Christmas wishlist and any further international offers – while respectfully considered – would fall secondary.

The England role specifically is one that Robertson’s name has been associated with for some time, reports from the past week indicate that the breakdancing six-time Super Rugby champion had been in direct contact with the RFU during his time in London.



A dramatic finish between the All Blacks and England at Twickenham on the weekend left many fans slightly sour after Marcus Smith opted to crystalise the 25-all scoreline, instead of England chancing their arm at a win – an outcome that would have played out very differently were Robertson at the helm according to Brown.

“In a team coached by Robertson, I don’t think Smith would have kicked out the ball for the draw like he did yesterday. It seemed to sum up England’s mindset. It was as if they were happy with that outcome.

“All the momentum was against them (the All Blacks), New Zealand were down to 14 players and were scrambling so why not go for it?

“We’ve become accustomed to England players coming away from England camps feeling mentally exhausted and I think that would change under Robertson. We need to get away from that. It shouldn’t be draining. It should be fun as well as challenging.”


Brown mentioned Marus Smith specifically as a player who would thrive under Robertson’s leadership style. Smith would profit from the encouragement and freedom Robertson could offer in the same light as Richie Mo’unga has profited and flourished under the self-acclaimed “visionary” coach at Super Rugby level.

“There’s so much talent in English rugby and I think they need a coach who will put them at ease, and allow them to flourish and develop.

“My experience of playing for England is there’s always a little bit of fear and Scott would change that. He encourages you to be yourself and be brave on the field. Someone like Marcus Smith would be in his element.

“He (Robertson) would come in and be a bit of a positive disruptor.

“He would be the perfect successor to Eddie Jones after the World Cup.”


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