Scott Robertson has been announced as the new All Blacks head coach, taking charge of the team after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The Crusaders boss will begin his tenure at the helm of New Zealand at the beginning of 2024 until the 2027 World Cup, taking over from outgoing coach Ian Foster.
The former All Black considered himself unlucky to have missed out on the job for the cycle after the 2019 World Cup as New Zealand Rugby (NZR) opted for Foster instead.
Nevertheless, Robertson cannot wait to get going in the new role and underlined how much of an honour it is to represent his country in this capacity.
“It’s an honour to be named as the next All Blacks Head Coach,” Robertson told the All Blacks official website. “It’s a job that comes with a huge amount of responsibility, but I’m excited by the opportunity to make a contribution to the legacy of the black jersey.
“To represent your country, as a coach or player, is the ultimate honour in sport and it’s humbling to be given that opportunity. I can’t wait.”
The 48-year-old is no stranger to the All Blacks set-up, having played for his country 23 times during his playing career.
What soon followed was the beginning of a prolific coaching career, beginning with an assistant role with Canterbury in 2008. Robertson would eventually take over and win three consecutive Premiership titles between 2013 and 2016. During this period, he would also lead New Zealand U20 to a World Championship.
In 2017 the coach would take over the Crusader helm and win six Super Rugby titles on the bounce, which threw his credentials into the spotlight for the top job in New Zealand.
Cannot wait to get going
Robertson cannot wait to get going, but his focus will remain on the Crusaders for the remainder of Super Rugby Pacific.
“Having significant time to plan for 2024 and beyond is crucial to setting the All Blacks up for success during the next World Cup cycle,” he added. “I have a job to do with the Crusaders and that will be my main focus through to the completion of DHL Super Rugby, but I will now have the opportunity to work with NZR to get some key appointments in my coaching and management team finalised, so we can hit the ground running next year.“
Meanwhile, NZR board chair dame Patsy Reddy was excited to have appointed Robertson and admits there was much thought put into the decision being made uniquely before the World Cup.
“We were very happy with the calibre and quality and quality of the people involved and would like to thank all of those who took part in the process,” she said. “The decision to appoint the next All Blacks head coach ahead of the Rugby World Cup was not taken lightly, but we believe it was the right decision for New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks and will set the team up for future success.
“We congratulate Scott on his appointment and look forward to working together in 2024, but have also been clear that New Zealand Rugby’s full support this year will be focused on the current All Blacks coaching team as we look toward the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.”
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson shared the sentiment and feels Robertson is the right coach to take the team forward.
“I’d like to congratulate Scott on his appointment,” he said. “His coaching record speaks for itself in terms of success, but what came through strongly during the interview process was his innovative approach to the game, his passion for his players, and his desire to add to the All Blacks legacy.
“We firmly believe he is the right person to lead the team in 2024 and beyond.”