All Blacks coach hopefuls Scott Robertson, Ian Foster both approach Tony Brown to be their assistant - report

Highlanders assistant coach Tony Brown could be getting a promotion next year with the frontrunners to be Steve Hansen's successor both reportedly approaching him to become their assistant coach.

Highlanders coach Tony Brown Source: Photosport

RugbyPass reports Brown has been approached by both Ian Foster and Scott Robertson - the two leading candidates to become the next All Blacks coach.

It's understood Foster and Robertson both approached Brown to be part of their respective coaching set-ups should either be named the new coach.

Foster enters the race having been Hansen's assistant since 2012 and was part of coaching set-up when the team defended the World Cup in 2015. He could add a second success to his belt in Japan next month.

Robertson on the other hand has built a dynasty with the Crusaders in Super Rugby, taking the squad which features a plethora of All Blacks to three consecutive titles in his first three years in charge.

Brown is currently working under Jamie Joseph with the Brave Blossoms ahead of the Rugby World Cup and has helped develop the Japanese national side's backline.

But that job will end after the tournament with Brown returning home to assist Aaron Mauger at the Highlanders next season.

Brown, who made 18 appearances for the All Blacks between 1999 and 2001, has built a reputation since hanging up his boots for his coaching knowledge.

He was the assistant coach to Joseph in 2015 when the Highlanders won their first Super Rugby title and has also coached the Panasonic White Knights and Otago.

A decision on Hansen's replacement won't be made until after the World Cup.