Sir John Kirwan believes Scott Robertson will bring a breath of fresh air to the All Blacks, following NZ Rugby’s announcement of the next coach.
Robertson will take over incumbent Ian Foster from 2024, after signing a four-year deal through to the 2027 Rugby World Cup.
The Crusaders coach has long been tipped as Foster’s successor, having led the Super Rugby side to six titles since 2017.
His appointment is at odds with NZ Rugby’s previous hires, with Robertson not having coached at senior international level in any capacity.
But his serial success with the Crusaders, Canterbury, and NZ U20 made for an obvious choice in the public’s opinion over other leading candidate Jamie Joseph.
“I think both choices were great ones, and I think they’ve chosen the right guy,” Kirwan told Newshub of Robertson’s appointment.
“I think [in] the modern era, we do have a different breed of an athlete coming through, I think Razor has that ability to connect with the new generation, he will bring new ideas, he is a fresh, new face.
“It’s been an amazing time for the All Blacks and there has been a lot of the staff that have done an amazing job, but I believe Razor will come in and bring something new, different, and exciting.
“I think people can be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved up to now. Fozzie, we can concentrate on just getting behind him and this team to win the World Cup. At the end of that, we’ve got Razor to bring us something new.”
Expectations will be high for Robertson to translate his Super Rugby success with the Crusaders over to the test arena with the All Blacks.
Kirwan believes the untraditional hire of Robertson should see an untraditional approach at the All Blacks, and backs him to succeed in his next venture.
“Winning is an expectation for the All Blacks and we’ll be expecting that from Razor, and what I think we’ll be looking for is some change,” he told Newshub.
“A fresh look at the game, a different way to do the management, a different way to play the game and maybe taking this team to another place and I think that’s what we’ll be expecting from him and I believe he’ll deliver on that.”