Scott Robertson’s outside-the-box thinking already taking effect as All Blacks create new coaching position in ‘crucial area’

Colin Newboult
All Blacks boss Scott Robertson and new coach Corey Flynn.

All Blacks boss Scott Robertson and new coach Corey Flynn.

The All Blacks have added two more coaches to their ranks ahead of the 2024 Test season, with one of those coming after a new position was created.

Scott Robertson has brought Corey Flynn and David Hill into the team, two people who have represented New Zealand before in a playing capacity,

This time they will be part of the backroom team, with Flynn’s addition particularly fascinating as he takes up a new role in the set-up.

The ex-front-row, who played alongside Robertson at the Crusaders, will interestingly act as a specific throwing coach, rather than overseeing the whole lineout, as he seeks to help the All Blacks hookers with their accuracy.

‘Huge privilege’

“It’s a bit of an odd feeling coming back into the All Blacks after such a long time since I pulled on the jersey,” Flynn said, with 2011 the last time he was in the environment.

“It brings up some of those feelings I had as a player, but of course it’s also a bit different being part of the coaching and management group. It’s a huge privilege to get the call up and I can’t wait to get in there and make a positive impact.”

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Set-piece tends to be the winning and losing of the game, and undoubtedly Robertson and forwards coach Jason Ryan will demand their hookers hit the mark consistently.

“Corey has done a stellar job working as a resource in our Super Rugby environments over the past two seasons and the guidance, skill and care he has brought to his coaching has been obvious both from feedback and in the quality and consistency of the throwing from the hookers he’s worked with,” Ryan said.

“It’s the first time the All Blacks have had a specialist throwing resource and it’s a crucial area of the game because throwers need throwers to understand the craft.

“We’re fortunate to have guys like Corey and David available to come into the environment regularly when we are in New Zealand and work on those very specialist skill sets.”

Kicking coach

Meanwhile, Hill has re-signed as the All Blacks’ kicking specialist, a role he has fulfilled since 2017. He initially took that on in a part-time capacity before going full-time with the national team in 2019.

Hill is currently an assistant coach at the Chiefs, where he takes charge of the defence.

“Anytime the All Blacks coming calling, you want to put your best foot forward, so when Scott approached me to continue the work I have been doing with the kickers, I jumped at the chance,” the ex-fly-half said.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved and as always, some incredible talent to work with.”

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