New Zealand Rugby (NZR) chief executive Mark Robinson understands that they run the risk of seeing Scott Robertson depart overseas.
The Crusaders head coach is contracted until the end of 2024, but has a clause which allows him to take an international job if he is not offered the All Blacks position by the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Robertson will be in high demand following his exploits with the Christchurch-based outfit, but there are thoughts that he could leave sooner than expected.
It will be hard for him to turn down an offer should a tier one national team come calling.
Wales and England jobs
The Wales and England jobs are expected to become available this week, with Wayne Pivac and Eddie Jones likely to be sacked following their poor respective Autumn Nations Series campaigns.
Although Warren Gatland (Wales) and Steve Borthwick (England) are the reported front-runners for those roles, NZ Rugby are on high alert.
“It’s very clear from speculation in the media that a lot of countries are moving early in this space and did also in the last cycle in 2019/20,” Robinson told Newshub.
“We have to understand the international market.”
New Zealand have tended not to rush into appointing a successor, which certainly counted against them after the 2019 World Cup.
Following the governing body’s inactivity, a number of potential candidates found jobs, leaving them with Ian Foster and Robertson as their only two options.
NZ Rugby went for the former, who agreed a two-year deal in December 2019 before that was extended until the end of the upcoming global tournament.
Foster’s spell was almost cut short after an abysmal start to 2022, which saw them lose four of their opening six matches, but the current All Blacks head coach has since been backed to lead them into the World Cup.
He will certainly depart the role should the national team fail at France 2023, but NZR will have to act quickly if they want Robertson to be the next national team boss.
Keeping the best talent in New Zealand
“We’ve seen this over the years,” Robinson told Newshub.
“There’s been a huge amount of talent leave our shores and coach in different places.
“We’ve said often that we value Scott incredibly highly – he’s a really strong coaching talent.
“We’d love to be in a position to keep all our coaching talent in New Zealand, that’s not always possible, but we have regular conversations with our key talent in this space and will continue to do that.”