England are compiling a dossier on Scott Robertson as part of their global search for Eddie Jones’ successor.
Their intensifying interest in the 47-year-old Crusader follows the New Zealander’s declaration of being open to offers for an international head coach appointment after next year’s World Cup.
The RFU has increased its groundwork on Robertson after the ambitious former All Black announced his “ultimate goal – to win the World Cup with two different countries. I’ll be 52 by the time the next World Cup comes around. I want to get to two or three and test myself.”
Despite RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney’s stated preference for an Englishman to run the national team, sources close to the Twickenham kingmakers have confirmed Robertson’s emergence as a strong candidate for an appointment due to be made next summer.
“They are keen on Robertson,’’ one powerbroker told The Rugby Paper. “His track record is impressive and while many think it’s time we had an English person as head coach, they’ll go for the best man regardless of nationality.’’
The Kiwi known as “Razor” was in the throes of reeling off a hat-trick of Super Rugby titles as Crusaders’ head coach in December 2019 when the All Blacks chose Ian Foster to succeed Steve Hansen. They backed Foster despite a public clamour for Robertson to take charge in the furore over Ireland’s devastating series win in July.
Robertson will be out of contract this time next year. A meeting with Jones in Sydney before the end of England’s winning series against the Wallabies increased the intrigue over where the restless Kiwi goes next.
“It wasn’t anything to do with the job,’’ Robertson said, unconvincingly. “I just caught up with him briefly and had a chat.’’
Steve Borthwick’s swift restoration of Leicester to their natural habitat as English champions makes him the bookmakers’ favourite to take overall charge of England once Jones has fired his last shot in France next year.
The former England captain left Twickenham two years ago after almost five years as a major part of Jones’ coaching command.
The most successful English coach on the world stage is probably beyond the RFU’s reach, ironically so given that they sacked him after appointing Jones in World Cup. Andy Farrell has been rewarded for his achievements with Ireland by to his contract. Within days of Farrell being ‘regarded very highly’ by England, the IRFU announced the deal which ties him to Ire- the wake of the 2015 a three-year extension Sweeney talking about land until August 2025 at the earliest.
Robertson will be in London during the autumn Test series, coaching the Barbarians against an All Blacks’ XV on Nov 13. He will be joined by Ronan O’Gara, his former Crusaders’ assistant who led La Rochelle to their European triumph last season.
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