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Sir Steve Hansen: What Scott Robertson must do to become ABs coach

By Sam Smith
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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Former All Blacks boss Sir Steve Hansen has outlined what Crusaders coach Scott Robertson must do to be appointed All Blacks head coach.

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Speaking to Newstalk ZB, Hansen, who was head coach of the All Blacks between 2012 and 2019 and won the 2015 World Cup title, said Robertson needs to stay patient and improve on his weaknesses if he is to succeed incumbent All Blacks boss Ian Foster.

Robertson signed a three-year contract extension with the Crusaders on Friday in a deal that will keep him in Christchurch until 2024.

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However, the 46-year-old has negotiated an exit clause in his new deal that allows him to opt out of the last year of his contract if he hasn’t become All Blacks head coach by the end of 2023.

It comes after Robertson narrowly missed out on the All Blacks head coach role as New Zealand Rugby [NZR] appointed Foster as Hansen’s successor after his side’s unsuccessful 2019 World Cup campaign.

Hansen said Robertson – who boasts one of the best winning records as a head coach at age-grade, provincial and Super Rugby levels in New Zealand – is in a good position to takeover from Foster once his days as All Blacks boss are over.

But, the 2015 World Cup-winning coach said there are still improvements that Robertson needs to make in his coaching repertoire before he moves into the test arena.

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“[Robertson] creates relationships in the environments that he’s in, he’s a relationships person and he’s a very positive person,” Hansen told Newstalk ZB.

“He’s not a guy that wants to sit still, he wants to continue to grow and he wants other people around him to do that.

“He’ll continue to be very good at those, but there are other things he’ll be looking to improve I’m sure. He’ll know what his weaknesses are and he’ll know he’ll want to get better at certain things.”

Hansen added he’s confident Robertson, who guided the Crusaders to five consecutive Super Rugby and Super Rugby Aotearoa titles between 2017 and 2021, will be afforded another opportunity to have a crack at the All Blacks job in the future.

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“If Scott wants to coach the All Blacks, he’s in the right place to do that. At some point, the opportunity’s going to arise again and applications will come up, and he’s in the running.

“But, in the meantime, he will concentrate hard on getting the Crusaders right. He won’t have been that happy with their season this year.

“They lost three games, which they’ve never done before under his tutelage in one year, and they didn’t make the final of the big dance.

“By his standards he’ll look forward to next year and getting that done, but there’s no doubt he’s a great coach, and it’s great to have great coaches coaching our players in New Zealand.”

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Sir Steve Hansen: What Scott Robertson must do to become ABs coach

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