Finally! Dynamic Scott 'Razor' Robertson named as All Blacks coach from 2024

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Scott Robertson (Getty)
Scott Robertson (Getty)
  • New Zealand Rugby have appointed Scott Robertson as the new All Blacks coach from 2024.
  • In an unusual move, the local body made the announcement while Ian Foster still has to guide the team to this year's World Cup in France.
  • Some commentators wonder if Robertson's influence is overstated though six Super Rugby titles is a fine resume.

New Zealand Rugby on Tuesday announced Scott "Razor" Robertson as the All Blacks coach from 2024, tapping him to lead a once all-conquering side now plagued by on and off-field woes.

Crusaders boss Robertson will take up one of the sport's most coveted jobs after the World Cup in France -- impressing selectors despite questions over his lack of pedigree at the international level.

"It's a job that comes with huge responsibility, but I'm excited by the opportunity to make a contribution to the legacy of the black jersey," the 48-year-old said.

The messy recruitment process has angered incumbent coach Ian Foster, who urged New Zealand rugby to hold off until the World Cup was finished because it would be too distracting.

Robertson was chosen ahead of current Japan coach Jamie Joseph, and has been contracted through to the end of the 2027 World Cup in Australia.

New Zealand Rugby credited Robertson's unparalleled success at the domestic level and his reputation for coaching innovation.

"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," chief executive Mark Robinson said.

He will replace Foster, whose troubled tenure has coincided with the team tumbling to third in the world rankings following a series defeat to Ireland, and a first-ever loss to Argentina at home.

It has been a rare period of upheaval for the three-time World Cup winners who crashed out of the 2019 tournament in Japan in the semi-finals.

Robertson has led the Crusaders side to six Super Rugby titles since 2017, but has never coached a national team.

Many of New Zealand's most successful former coaches, such as Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, worked overseas before entering the All Blacks setup.

The Crusaders benefit from one of the most fertile rugby nurseries on the planet, and some pundits have questioned whether Robertson's influence has been overstated.

Former All Blacks captain Kieran Read came to his defence earlier this year, saying Robertson was "certainly" the best coach in the country.

Robertson, himself a former All Blacks loose forward, is seen as something of a maverick and is renowned for his breakdancing celebrations.

New Zealand Rugby took the unusual step of starting the recruitment process well before Foster's contract expired, widely seen as an attempt to stop international sides from poaching leading contenders.

Foster has been under enormous pressure after a string of lacklustre results, and there was speculation last year that he would be sacked in favour of Robertson.

Foster rode out that storm with the backing of senior players, and will remain in charge until the end of this year's World Cup.

In a split with the governing body, Foster said the hunt for a new head coach created "uncertainty" within the current All Blacks setup and drew attention away from crucial tournament preparations.

"I felt the best thing for our team and for our entire management group was to have this process done after the Rugby World Cup," he said.

New Zealand kick off the World Cup in a blockbuster fixture against hosts France in September.

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