Razor sharp enough to face Boks and coach Crusaders
SPOTLIGHT: Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is more than capable of assisting the British and Irish Lions and coaching the Super Rugby champions says CEO Colin Mansbridge.
Crusades fans have been losing sleep since Robertson revealed that he would revel at the opportunity to join the British and Irish Lions coaching team.
The 45-year-old has been eager to gain some international experience since being snubbed from the All Blacks job. Robertson said he approached Lions coach Warren Gatland – currently at the Chiefs – about joining the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021.
Gatland’s commitment to the Lions will see him relinquish his coaching position at the Chiefs, temporarily.
However, Mansbridge is fully confident that Roberston can juggle both gigs.
Despite the 45-year-old not yet being offered the role, the Crusaders board have already discussed the possibility of it and have looked at ways to work around it.
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“Without getting into detail about what it actually looked like, there was confidence that we would be able to manage it in terms of commitment to the Crusaders’ campaign, as well as doing this [Lions],’’ Mansbridge told Stuff.
“He is not going to lose focus on the campaign. There is no way he doesn’t want to win another championship. If there is anything that keeps him up at night, it’s that.”
Mansbridge also conceded given that the Super Rugby will conclude a month before the Lions tour of South Africa in July, Robertson will have ample time to finish his fifth season with the Crusaders before linking up with the Lions.
“He is not going to abandon the campaign at the back end, it would be how does he manage himself? And he’s exceptional at doing that. We are confident that between us we can solve any issue as it arises,’’ Mansbridge said.
“We would like to see it as an opportunity, rather than see the problems or barriers to it, is our mindset,”
Meanwhile, Roberston is off-contract at the end of next year and Mansbridge said an extension had not yet been inked, but he and the board had made their desire to retain him crystal clear.
“His coach’s paint around this place is going to be thicker than most. It’s as good as, if not better, than a Robbie Deans or Wayne Smith. It’s that sort of impact he’s going to have on this place. I’m not saying Razor holds all the cards, but there is no need to play hardball or be tough or anything like that.
“When you show someone that you want them in your whanau and you love them and you love them being there, we just keep reinforcing those, and we will let the documentation and the contracting take care of itself with time.”