A former British and Irish Lions coach says Scott Robertson should not be appointed as coach for the team’s South African tour next year. Last week, the Crusaders coach revealed that he approached Warren Gatland to join him on the British and Irish Lions tour. Rugby enthusiasts can book Springboks Vs British And Irish Lions Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Robertson said he’s interested in gaining international coaching experience after missing the All Blacks’ main job to Ian Foster. Speaking at the Country Sports Breakfast in Gold AM last week, Robertson said he asked Gatland about joining him on the tour and offered his services.
Once I missed the All Blacks job, I went up to Gats and asked if I could go on that tour, he said. I thought, see if I can’t get involved with the All Blacks, what is the most important, or actually greatest in itself, the Lions tour?
I said ‘look, I’d love to help you if I can. In a Daily Telegraph column, former Lions and Scotland coach Sir Ian McGeechan praised Robertson but didn’t think the Lions were a place for him.
“Robertson is probably one of the four or five best coaches in world rugby at the moment. And your interest should serve as a wake-up call for one or two people who are questioning the future of Lions as an entity,” wrote McGeechan.
But I don’t think Gats should give him a role. As flattering as his interest is, and no matter how good a coach he is, I certainly don’t think it’s the right decision. Robertson would bring something different, without a doubt. It would bring knowledge of Super Rugby and South African rugby.
“But he doesn’t know Northern Hemisphere rugby intimately. He does not know the players who will participate in intimately. Next year’s tour to South Africa will be one of the shortest and most intense of all time. There will be such a rapid change between the Premiership final and the first game – just one week. It is absolutely vital that Lions begin to function. And for that, they will need coaches that Gats knows and trusts, and who know the players.”
Robertson, who led the Crusaders to their fourth straight Super Rugby title this year, said his request was taken to Lions management. I’m waiting. We’ll see what happens, he said. Obviously there’s a lot to work on with COVID and the British and Irish Lions tour. But we’ve had a couple of good conversations since then and he has to go through his administration line to make a decision.
“Something that really drives and motivates me is probably learning and understanding. Obviously, Gats has been very successful internationally as a coach, so he is a person to learn from and also allows me not to have to go abroad to train and get that international experience.”
The 45-year-old, who many believed deserved the All Blacks coach job over Foster, said he is happy at the Crusaders but is open to training abroad in the future. From a personal note, I have a young family. I would love to stay with the Crusaders for as long as I can, but I am also quite cautious about the timing of roles in the international market and what happens in Europe.
“One of the reasons I played in France is so I can learn French to train there one day. If that’s the right thing and the right time, then great. I have a few options.”
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