Scott Robertson ‘flattered’ by England rumours

Date published: March 31 2021 - Chris Evans

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has played down links that he will replace Eddie Jones as England boss, but admits that it is “flattering” to be mentioned. 

Jones has come under fierce pressure over the past two years for his style of play, and the pressure only increased after England finished a lowly fifth in the Six Nations.

Robertson, alongside former Wales boss Warren Gatland and former South African World Cup winning head coach Rassie Erasmus, have been the ones linked with the role.

“It’s pretty flattering to be mentioned for international jobs, especially a role like that,” Robertson told reporters.

An honour to lead the country

“It comes with a bit of honour and prestige to lead someone’s country, so to be held in that regard is pretty special.”

Robertson has downplayed the England rumours, but his future in Super Rugby is far from certain.

The Crusaders head coach is out of contract at the end of the year and has been keeping a close eye on New Zealand Rugby’s attempt to sell a 15% stake in NZR’s commercials to US investor Silver Lake, which is valued at $465 million.

Robertson told the media he and his agent Warren Alcock have been watching developments closely, and the 46-year-old admitted the Silver Lake deal needs to happen if he is to re-sign with the Crusaders.

“The next couple of days is pretty big around the Silver Lake deal. We are getting close, but the Silver Lake deal is a pretty important part of re-signing,” Robertson said.

“Like I’ve said before, with the agent, he’s a pretty patient type, it’s a long game for him just around what’s happening with New Zealand Rugby, just making sure the timing is right.”

However, even if the Silver Lake deal goes through, there is still the situation surrounding Robertson’s pursuit of the All Blacks job to deal with.

Robertson was in the running to replace Steve Hansen after the 2019 World Cup but Ian Foster was given the role.

Unless New Zealand endure a disastrous 2021, Foster’s contract will probably be extended until the 2023 World Cup.

Robertson admitted that he will be watching the developments surrounding Foster’s future closely, and if he sees no route to the All Blacks job he may still look elsewhere to further his career.

“It’s pretty clear if I sign a couple more years I’ve done the Crusaders for seven years, which I love doing, but what does it mean the next step after that? How does that line up around the 2023 World Cup if this coaching group stays on? There’s a lot of things going on, there’s a lot of answers,” Robertson added.

“I’ve been coming down to Rugby Park since 2008 in some role as a coach, it’s great, a great lifestyle and stuff, but I’m also an ambitious career coach, so for me to have an opportunity, whether it’s here or elsewhere, you look at those opportunities.”