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Scott Robertson remains coy over All Blacks captaincy decision

By Finn Morton
Coach Scott Robertson of the Crusaders and Scott Barrett of the Crusaders pose for a photo with the Super Rugby Pacific trophy following the Super Rugby Pacific Final match between Chiefs and Crusaders at FMG Stadium Waikato, on June 24, 2023, in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

New All Blacks coach Scott Robertson has confirmed that no captaincy decisions will be made until the squad is named before they reportedly face England on home soil in July.

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With the man affectionally known as ‘Razor’ officially ushering in a new era for All Blacks rugby with a two-day camp in Auckland, there are plenty of unknowns about Robertson’s plans.

Robertson invited 22 players to gather for the camp, with previous captains Sam Cane and Ardie Savea unavailable due to their current commitments overseas in Japan.

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But serial Super Rugby-winning captain Scott Barrett – who was coached by Robertson for years at the Crusaders – was in attendance.

While Cane is the incumbent to retain the role as skipper, any of those three players would be considered worthy candidates to lead the All Blacks into a rugby battle against England later this year.

But, at least at this stage, it’s all just speculation. When asked about who will captain the All Blacks, Robertson gave absolutely nothing away on Tuesday.

“I’ll name the captain as we come into the series, when we name the squad,” Robertson told reporters in Auckland.

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“I’ve got to get in front of a few people, have conversations, catch a few eyes, get on the odd knee and have some chats.

“It’s important we do that for all options.”

While Cane, Savea and Beauden Barrett were unable to attend, Robertson was able to assemble a star-studded group as the ‘Razor’ era officially got underway this week.

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Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Scott and Jordie Barrett, and plenty more were among the smiling faces who grouped together – more than 70 days on from the World Cup final defeat.

Jordan, who has played a starring role in the Crusaders’ unrivalled period of success under Robertson, described the atmosphere as a “pretty fresh vibe” within the camp.

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“Razor certainly brings his own style to things and whilst it’s been a pretty lowkey camp, connections are a huge thing for him,” Jordan said.

“We’ve obviously got a good relationship already but a few of the other boys might (not) have worked as closely with him as others so just getting to know them.

“Just getting a pretty fresh vibe I think. It’s early in the season, we’re a while away from the first Test so nothing too serious but just connecting as a group.

“The focus for the next six months is on Super Rugby,” he added.

“I’ve usually played at fullback for the Crusaders so we’ll see what happens there but it’s just about having a good campaign of footy and hopefully getting into the ABs and from there we’ll see what happens.

“Obviously Beaudy (Barrett) is coming back which is exciting so for me it’s just about having a good Super campaign and working on the things I need to and we’ll see what happens in July.”

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