Richie McCaw expects Scott Robertson will 'do things a little bit different'
Two Canterbury and New Zealand icons have endorsed another as Scott Robertson begins his All Blacks coaching journey, with Richie McCaw and Dan Carter excited to see what the coach can achieve at the international level.
While Robertson conceded he will have to acknowledge the challenge of levelling up his game to prove he is not just a great club coach, Carter says there is no doubt Razor is world-class.
McCaw was Robertson’s understudy briefly at the All Blacks during his rapid rise to top dog, and so has also known Razor in both a playing and coaching context, helping him get a good read on what to expect from the next era of All Blacks rugby.
“Well I think he’ll do things a little bit different to what’s been done before,” McCaw told Rugby.com.au.
“Since 2004, you’ve had a pretty settled, especially management team with a slight change of coaches but I think he’ll do things a little bit differently. He’ll bring the things that have worked in the past but he’s prepared to try things.
“What he does have is a great knowledge of who’s around. He knows getting selections and staff right are important so it’s going to be exciting to see what he brings.”
So far, Robertson has opted for tried and tested relationships in his coaching staff, selecting former Canterbury and Crusaders assistants in Leon MacDonald, Jason Ryan, Scott Hansen and Jason Holland.
As for the players he’ll select, McCaw believes the nature of this year’s World Cup final loss will inevitably leave a sour taste in some mouths but also makes for confidence in a competitive international field.
“You make the final and you come up one point short, it’s disappointing that you’re so close but yet came up short.
“You look at all the teams that went to the World Cup like the French and the Irish that had a real good chance of winning it and they went home early and the Wallabies show you tournaments chuck up anything.
“The results especially leading up into the tournament against South Africa and in the opening game, to give themselves a chance you’ve got to be happy but if we stopped being disappointed when we don’t win, you lower your standards.
“A few of the guys I’ve talked to have said how disappointed they are but that’s the nature of it and we have a new coach and outlook next year which will be interesting.”
Carter joined his former teammate in expressing excitement over the seven-time Super Rugby champion’s appointment, agreeing the All Blacks will be “different” with Razor at the helm.
“He’s an incredibly talented coach, a former teammate of mine,” Carter told 1News. “I got coached by him for one year when I went back injured and played for Canterbury.
“I’ve been following his journey pretty closely and he’s got a great team around him, which will be really important at that next level of coaching.
“I can assure him, he’s much more than a club coach, he’s a world-class, world-leading coach and I’m really excited to see what he brings because there will be some changes, it will be different. He thinks about the game in a different way, extremely passionate and he often gets the best out of the players he coaches which is extremely exciting.”