Razor ‘open’ to Wallabies work, Kiwis’ Covid crisis gives hope to RTS debut, Gregan hails Eddie’s ‘courage’


Six-time Super Rugby champion coach Scott Robertson has said he wants to coach at least two World Cups and would consider managing the Wallabies if he continues to miss out on the All Blacks role.

Robertson was overlooked for incumbent Ian Foster last time out and admitted the rejection hurt. There are plenty of Kiwi fans who also think NZR have missed a trick but are wrong with Robertson.

Australia’s former World Cup winner Phil Kearns told the Roar Rugby podcast that Robertson posed a significant leak risk.

“Razor Robertson is a terrific coach and if New Zealand doesn’t give him a chance soon, in a year or two he will definitely be lost to an overseas country, Ireland or wherever he goes,” Kearns said.

“He’s a very, very good coach with a very close bond with his players. He’s a very genuine guy.

Robertson acknowledged as much in an interview with Code Sports over the weekend.

“I put my heart into it,” he said.

“I myself am an avid Kiwi and an All Black. The Crusaders pounced on me I guess when they did and they had to be brave. We had a different angle. You have to sell yourself in these jobs. You have to phrase it in a way that it’s you, you have to go, so I had gone that route.

“[There was a] sad realization you didn’t get it at the time, but what it does is it gives you some thinking, and I’m definitely a better coach and see what’s needed.

“If work ever comes back, yeah, yeah [I would take it].”

Robertson has said that if he is not appointed All Blacks manager after next year’s World Cup he will quit New Zealand rugby.

“After you missed something, you had some time and realized there were only a few jobs internationally,” he said. “Timing is everything.

“I would love to participate in a few World Cups. I get to 50 and it’s going fast.

“At the end of the day, you have to open up, I’m a professional, I’m a professional coach.

“I want to create an environment and a culture where people perform and if it’s another country, you have to be realistic.”

He said he wouldn’t rule out coaching Australia.

“I have a big affiliation with Australia,” he said. “I’ve been on many vacations and have some really great friends, friends and family on that side.

“I just have to be open. That’s what I learned last time. You put your heart and soul into something, but you also realize that you’re in a professional game and you’re making the decisions based on what’s in front of you.

Covid hits key ABs

The All Blacks’ preparations for the first Test against Ireland at Eden Park on Saturday were derailed with a Covid outbreak sidelining coaches Ian Foster and John Plumtree as well as players David Havili and Jack Goodhue.

The biggest beneficiary could be code-hopper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who could make his debut on the bench if Havili is ruled out.

Crusaders center Braydon Ennor has joined the team as cover while assistant coaches Brad Mooar, Scott McLeod and Greg Feek will step in on the practice field.

Havili was expected to start in the center alongside Rieko Ioane in All Blacks midfield, but Quinn Tupaea is expected to be his replacement. RTS appears in a battle with Leicester Fainga’anuku for a place on the bench.

Roger Tuivasa-Scheck. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

“We have a plan for this to happen, and this is a great opportunity for the wider coaching group and senior players, who will be highly motivated to step in,” Foster said in a statement.

“We have learned to deal with the unexpected, as everyone has over the past two years. I will always work alongside the coaches and the team via Zoom and I have great confidence in the coaching group and the players.

“We have structures in place and everyone is working together.”

Gregan supports Eddie’s bravery

Former Australia captain George Gregan believes Eddie Jones has the leadership qualities needed to revive England’s faltering fortunes.

England are preparing for a three-Test series in Australia – their first summer tour in five years – following two dismal Six Nations campaigns.

Experienced coach Jones has retained the support of the Rugby Football Union ahead of the trip to his homeland and is responsible for ensuring his side reach their peak in time for next year’s World Cup.

Retired half-back Gregan, who captained the Wallabies aged 62, told the PA news agency: “I loved playing under Eddie, he was a great coach.

“He is a person who is prepared and has the courage to do things differently – not necessarily to follow the norm and whatever the trend in terms of the way of playing, that takes courage.

“But it also takes a lot of convincing the band and the people around you to go in that direction, which it does.

“He is incredibly thorough and meticulous in his planning. What he also does is really allow his team to take ownership of what they do on the pitch and I think that’s a sign of a very, very good coach, so he’s had some success just about everywhere he was trained.

“Eddie is very good under pressure to identify what needs to be done and really put a focused plan in place and get people to buy into it and work hard for it.

“It can be a lonely place to be a head coach, I think in all sports it’s not easy.

“He will try to do things a little differently just to get that little edge and create the best possible environment for his players and coaches to perform. To me, that’s Eddie in a nutshell.

England will play Tests in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney on successive Saturdays, starting next weekend.

After losing to their arch-rivals in the group stage of a miserable home World Cup campaign in 2015, England have won their last eight encounters with the Wallabies.

That winning streak was sparked by a 3-0 success on their 2016 Australian tour shortly after Jones’ appointment.

Gregan doesn’t envision a repeat of the stunning whitewash this time around.

“I wouldn’t have predicted that in 2016 the Wallabies were in the World Cup final against the All Blacks, were the team in form and then they got beaten 3-0,” he said. he declares.

“I think it’s going to be a very tight series; I think this series was pretty close as well, with the possible exception of the last Test match – they were all tight margins and it could follow in the same order.

“The margins are getting smaller and smaller in international sport. I think the series is going to be fiercely contested and I don’t see England or Australia winning 3-0.

“I know they (the English public and media) go up and down with him, but he’s been there for over six years and few English managers have lasted that long – and achieved the kind of results that he could get.

“It should be a really good series in Australia, like the one in 2016. It didn’t go well for us, but it was pretty fun.

“There is no doubt that England will be a serious threat. It is one of the best teams in the world and there are also good young players. They’ve been World Cup finalists since last time, so I’m sure they’re going to be a serious threat.

Kaitu’u resigns with Force

Feleti Kaitu’u has recommitted to Australian rugby until the end of 2024.

Kaitu’u is captain of the Western Force and made his debut for the Wallabies in 2021.

The 27-year-old earned three caps in his debut international season and was selected in Australia’s A team for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji.

Kaitu’u joined the Force in 2018 and has been a dominant front-row presence throughout his 48 appearances.

Kaitu’u said, “I’m excited to continue our pursuit of perfection every day, every week, and every year. I am delighted to have the opportunity to leave the shirt in a better place than where it was found.

“We want to be the best in everything we do. I hope that through hard work, discipline and perseverance, I can be an example for others.

“The Force has a special place in my heart. The club made me a better man and a better footballer. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”




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