By NZ Herald

Chiefs assistant coach Tabai Matson has revealed what may see the odds swing in favour of Scott Robertson in the All Blacks coaching race.

The Crusaders coach, along with All Blacks assistant Ian Foster, are the two frontrunners to become Steve Hansen’s successor.

Both will present to the selection panel, which consists of New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey, former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry, newly appointed NZR CEO Mark Robinson, NZR Head of High Performance Mike Anthony and former Silver Ferns Coach and High Performance Sport New Zealand director Waimarama Taumaunu.

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The Herald understands Robertson will present to the panel in Wellington today.

Matson, who played alongside Robertson with Canterbury and the Crusaders, told Jim Kayes on Radio Sport that if New Zealand Rugby want to freshen up the All Blacks program, then Robertson should be their favourite, noting that the international rugby landscape is shifting and NZR may need to follow suit.

“They [the selection panel] may think this year we actually need to freshen the whole thing.

“Understanding what [world rugby’s] going to look like will be the key thing.

“If you’re looking at purely coaching you got to say [Robertson’s] world class.”

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But Matson admits Robertson’s lack of experience may help Foster’s case, and that the interview could be crucial as both coaches try to prove to New Zealand Rugby that they have what it takes to meet the organisation’s key priorities.

“It’s a different context at international level. Coaching for 24 rounds in a row is very different from putting a program together to go up for a northern tour and play four or five different nations.

“Whatever they think is the priority for New Zealand Rugby, if that hits a chord with the interview panel then it’s anybody’s game.”

If Robertson is appointed, it would leave the Crusaders, who he has led to three consecutive Super Rugby titles, needing to find a new coach in time for their Super Rugby season opener on February 1.

NZR are hoping to make an announcement around a new coach by Christmas.

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and was republished with permission.

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