New Zealand: NZR already discussing appointment of next All Blacks coach says Mark Robinson

David Skippers

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) chief executive Mark Robinson has revealed that “discussions” have already started around the appointment of the All Blacks head coach post the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Newly appointed Wales head coach Warren Gatland, who was released from his NZR contract as the Chiefs’ director of rugby, endorsed Crusaders boss Scott Robertson for the All Blacks coaching role earlier in the week while also saying that he still has ambitions of coaching the men in black one day.

Robertson appears to be in demand as he has been linked with several vacancies at Test level, which will become available after next year’s World Cup in France, and Gatland urged NZR to do their best to retain the 48-year-old’s services.

Confirmed discussions

Robinson confirmed the appointment process was discussed at an NZR board meeting in Auckland on Wednesday.

“We know there’s an awful lot going on in that market and we are confident we’re having all the conversations we need to have at this time,” he told Stuff.

When asked if he accepted that traditional timelines had changed around the appointment process, Robinson said there was already progress in that area.

NZ Rugby has traditionally not looked at the position until after the global showpiece.

“We acknowledge that is part of the deliberation we’re going through, recognising previous processes around appointments versus what’s happening in the international environment, and learnings from the last appointment process as well,” explained Robinson.

“(Changing timelines) has been acknowledged, and discussions we’re having with all our talent across the board would signal that as well. We’re keeping a close eye on what’s happening internationally.

“We feel a lot of sympathy for what’s happening in England and Wales around some really good people… and at the same time we have to be aware of what that means for our talent too.

“We are keeping a very close eye on that.”

When asked about Gatland’s advice, Robinson said: “He’s one of 5 million people who’s got an opinion on this. We get lots of good advice in this area, and as an executive and board we had a good discussion yesterday.

“We acknowledge the environment is changing and moving quickly and we’re having lots of constructive conversations as a result of that.”

No timeline on appointment

Robinson would not to be tied down to a timeline regarding the All Blacks coaching appointment but said he would not say that his organisation is in a relaxed mode about the matter.

”I wouldn’t quite frame it like that,” he said.

“We acknowledge it’s an incredibly important appointment for the organisation, and we’re putting a lot of effort into it and taking it onboard seriously and at the same time we feel like we’re having all the relevant conversations at the moment.”

READ MORE: New Zealand: Warren Gatland endorses Scott Robertson for All Blacks coaching job