Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has revealed an announcement about the selection process for the next All Blacks coach is coming in “the next few days”.
However, despite Robertson’s comments, New Zealand Rugby insists there is no incoming announcement on their end.
“New Zealand Rugby is continuing to have internal discussions, but an announcement about the All Blacks Head Coach or process is not imminent,” it said in a statement to Newshub.
With incumbent Ian Foster’s NZ Rugby contract up at the end of 2023, speculation is mounting over who’ll be the coach to lead the national team in 2024 and beyond.
Robertson will almost certainly find himself on NZ Rugby’s shortlist, establishing himself as one of the country’s best coaches, with six Super Rugby titles in the last six years.
Robertson has revealed the timeline for the process of selecting the next coach.
“It’s one of those times, I’m just waiting for the NZRU to make the announcements,” said Robertson. “You have conversations in the background, as an employee, understanding we go through clear processes.
“What I’m saying is, hopefully we know in the next few days.
“I haven’t signed anything yet. I’m trying to be really professional, as professional as I can be, take great advice and have good conversations with who I need to.
“NZRU have been as good in that regard.”
Robertson and Japan coach Jamie Joseph are understood to be the main challengers to Foster for the head coach role after the 2023 World Cup in France.
Last week, Newshub revealed former Wallabies and Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was out of the reckoning, effectively sealing a two-horse race, should NZ Rugby decide to take a different direction from Foster.
As he prepares for a charge at a seventh Super Rugby title with the Crusaders, Robertson insists he isn’t looking too far ahead.
“The key word here is professional,” he continued. “I understand my roles and responsibilities, where it stands.
“As a head coach, you’re going to have this happen as part of your career. Our jobs are results driven, it’s board driven.
“People make decisions and you live with them. My integrity is really important, making sure I live by those standards all the time.
“I trust their process, take a big breath when I need to. It’ll all work out.”
Robertson also confirms offshore interest for his services. England were strongly linked with the Crusaders coach, after sacking Eddie Jones in late 2022, but appointed former captain Steve Borthwick instead.
Robertson says his first choice will always be to coach the All Blacks.
“I’ve had options, but like I’ve always said, my preference is to be here in NZ and coach my country,” Robertson confirmed.
“I’ve been really patient. I think, where we are now, that’s what I’ve got to deal with, rather than what has happened.
“I’ve had options, like everyone else, but the next two weeks is big.”