Rugby Union

Crusaders boss Scott Robertson optimistic over All Blacks top job

Scott Robertson busted out his breakdancing moves after the Crusaders won their third straight Super Rugby title at the weekend – but whether the All Blacks see him as the ideal dance partner when Steve Hansen steps down remains to be seen.

The former All Blacks loose forward has already said he is keen to succeed Hansen after the Rugby World Cup and the Crusaders’ 19-3 victory over the Jaguares on Saturday only enhanced his credentials.

“I’ve done what I can do so then hopefully I’ll have a great interview and if they want someone, they know who they’re getting with me,” the 44-year-old told reporters in Christchurch on Monday at a civic reception for the team.

“The process is in December so I’ve got to prepare as best I can to put myself forward.

“I’m a pretty optimistic person – if you have a crack I’d like to think you have a chance.”

Hansen, who has been involved with the All Blacks for 16 seasons, eight as head coach, is stepping down after the global showpiece in Japan – and his successor has big shoes to fill.

The All Blacks have won 85 of their 96 test matches since Hansen, who worked as an assistant to Graham Henry from 2004, took over in 2012.

Robertson too has an enviable coaching record and reputation, leading Canterbury to three provincial titles before he joined the Crusaders for the 2017 season.

Three consecutive titles for @Crusadersrugby means three consecutive years of breakdancing from coach Scott Robertson!

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Report from today's Super Rugby final: https://t.co/NmioOtQ1eG pic.twitter.com/tXY2k4aHOl

With no coaching experience at Super Rugby level, the laid-back Robertson, a keen surfer, seemed like a strange fit for Christchurch, but the results speak for themselves.

The side ended a nine-year drought to win their eighth Super Rugby title in his first season in charge. They repeated the feat last year and on Saturday became the second team to win three successive titles, after the 1998-2000 Crusaders side, for whom Robertson played.

Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock, who is likely to succeed Kieran Read as All Blacks skipper next year, was full of praise for the “left-field ideas” of ‘Razor’ Robertson.

“The major thing is that he has come in and challenged people to be better and to grow,” Whitelock said after the final.

“He has grown the coaching and management staff too.

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