Scott Robertson: Crusaders head coach ‘exactly the person England need’

Colin Newboult

Former England full-back Mike Brown believes that Scott Robertson has the qualities to release the Red Rose from their shackles and usher in a bright new era for the country.

The 48-year-old, known as ‘Razor’, is currently contracted to the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2024, but he has a clause which will enable him to leave before then.

Should Robertson not be offered the All Blacks role after the conclusion of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, he will be able to immediately take another international job.

England officials have reportedly met with the former back-row to discuss potentially replacing Eddie Jones, who will leave his post following the global tournament next year.

Brown recently worked under Robertson while playing for the Barbarians and was impressed with what he saw.

Exceeded expectations

“For me to do the Barbarians it was a big draw that Razor was involved. Obviously watching the Crusaders from over here, (I) was a big fan of his and what he’s doing there so wanted to see it up close and it exceeded my expectations to be honest,” the ex-Red Rose full-back told SENZ Breakfast.

“In terms of England, (he) would be exactly the person that they kind of need I think to kind of lift that environment and get them out of playing with a bit of fear.

“In terms of him, the way he’s just such a good people person, I’ve not really experienced to that level before with any coaches that I’ve had.

“The way he connects with people, the way he understands personalities, the way he just makes you feel so comfortable like you’ve known him for years, I just loved every minute of it.”

England’s style of play under Jones has been heavily criticised recently and Brown believes that Robertson will free up the players.

“I honestly feel like he’s the sort of people they kind of need to make the step up. I just feel like they’re playing within themselves,” he said.

“People like Marcus Smith, they’re playing one way for their club and then you see that mentality shift when they’re playing.

Playing with fear

“The example on the weekend when he’s kicking the ball out to take the draw, if he’s in a Quins shirt… they’d never kick the ball out ever.

“So why he’s doing that in an England jersey, for me, just points to the environment and maybe they’re playing within themselves, a bit of fear.

“They haven’t played their best rugby until 10 minutes of that New Zealand game and they suddenly had to push the envelope and do some stuff.

“Just speaking to him, he seems to have a great awareness of himself and what sort of people he would need around him to fill in the gaps that maybe he’s not so good at.”

READ MORE: Ex-All Black says the Red Rose ‘panicked’ when deciding to end the game with a draw