2019-02-18 by W.M.
Super Rugby: Successful Crusaders coach Scott Robertson signs two-year extension
Flamboyant Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is having too much fun and enjoying too much success to go anywhere.
The back-to-back Super Rugby title-winning coach has inked a new deal with the franchise and New Zealand Rugby for the 2020 and 2021 seasons that will keep him right where he is.
And Robertson is delighted to be able to continue to head New Zealand’s most successful sporting franchise, not to mention potentially be available for the new All Blacks coaching setup post-2019.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead a group of incredible players, alongside a coaching staff and management group who are passionate about what we do and the organisation we represent,” Robertson said.
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“My family and I are really settled here and when my wife Jane and I talked about it, this is ultimately where we wanted to be. I had already signalled my commitment to New Zealand Rugby and this 2019 campaign with the Crusaders, but this ensures I can now focus on the task at hand and move forward with certainty around my coaching future.
“It’s a huge honour to lead this team and I’m thankful for the support I have been shown in extending my time with the club,” Robertson said.
Robertson has been both wildly successful and popular since coming on board as the franchise’s head coach for the 2017 season, netting back-to back championships to end an eight-season title drought in red and black country.
The straight-talking former All Black immediately impressed with his ability to get the best out of his players, with his forthright communication and also with his breakdancing celebration of the respective championships.
Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said:: “Razor’s rugby nous and coaching capabilities go without saying, but it’s his unique ability to connect with his players, our staff and community that makes him such an instrumental leader.
“We are fortunate to have a coach who cares deeply about his players, and injects so much heart and personality into Crusaders rugby. It was absolutely a priority to re-sign him and we’re extremely grateful to NZ Rugby for working closely with us to achieve this.”
New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew Robertson’s recommitment to the game here should be celebrated. “His energy and passion for rugby is relentless and his outstanding sense of humour is infectious. He doesn’t miss an opportunity to tell me he is our best ever signing.”
The former Crusaders, Canterbury and All Blacks loose forward started his provincial career with Bay of Plenty in 1995, before moving to Christchurch where he played 69 games for Canterbury and 86 Super Rugby matches for the Crusaders.
Robertson featured in 23 tests for the All Blacks between 1998-2002 and won four Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders during that period, including a hat-trick from1998-2000.
Following his international career, he played three seasons for Perpignan in France, before moving to Japan to join the Ricoh Black Rams – as a player for one season, and then as a coach.
Robertson assisted the Canterbury national provincial team to five successive titles between 2008 and 2012, and from 2013-16 was head coach as a further three Premiership titles were annexed.
The 44-year-old also coached the New Zealand under-20 team to the 2015 world championship.
Robertson is now in his third season as head coach of the Crusaders, with a 35-3 win-loss record and those back-to-back titles secured.
The Crusaders made history with their 2017 victory in Johannesburg, becoming the first team to travel to South Africa for a final and return with the trophy. He also became the first person to win a Super title as both a player and a coach.
The Crusaders opened their 2019 campaign with a 22-24 win over the Blues at Eden Park.