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O'Gara backing Robertson for ABs

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Ronan O'Gara tips Scott Robertson for higher honours and hints at future

Crusaders assistant coach Ronan O’Gara has made his pick for Steve Hansen’s successor after the latter announced he would be stepping away from his role after next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Robertson, off-contract with the Crusaders at the end of next year, last month told The New Zealand Herald he was interested in the top job, and again reiterated that to Stuff after Hansen’s announcement on Friday.

“Of course, yeah. I think it will definitely happen, there’s no doubt it,” O’Gara told Stuff in regards to Robertson’s All Black prospects.

“He’s made of the right stuff, Razor. He’s got great energy, charisma, ideas. He’s a leader of men. Yeah, it will happen.”

Should Robertson join the All Blacks or head elsewhere once his contract with the Crusaders ends, O’Gara would be interesting in assuming the top job in Christchurch.

“Of course I would, yeah,” O’Gara said.  “But it’s all ifs and buts. I don’t deal in ifs and buts.”

“I know what I’m doing for this campaign and that’s all that bothers and interests me. I’m happy doing what I’m doing. It’s ifs and buts for Razor. But he was the guy that gave me the break here. Who knows, I could go where ever he goes next.”

All four Crusaders coaches are off-contract after the upcoming season, with assistant coach Brad Mooar set to join Scarlets in 2020.

Despite Robertson’s relative infancy in the coaching realm, O’Gara feels he would be ready to step up to the head role with the All Blacks.

Steve Hansen also touched on the importance of experience when New Zealand Rugby begin their search for a new head coach, and felt that it wasn’t as necessary as some would be led to believe.

“I think that’s probably misguided,” O’Gara said in regards to Robertson’s readiness to coach the All Blacks. “I think he’s good at rugby, very good at rugby. With the level of detail required now days to succeed in the coaching world, you need to be on top of a lot of areas and he is on top of a lot of areas.”

“He’s working with very capable players, no doubt about it. But at the same time, someone has to stratergise everything, and organise and run the show, and he does that well.

“It’s a pleasure working with him. He gets the best out of his players, he gets the best out of us as a coaching group, he gets the best out of me. I enjoy going into Rugby Park every day to see him.”

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Ronan O'Gara tips Scott Robertson for higher honours and hints at future