Ex-All Blacks coach Laurie Mains cast doubt over Scott Robertson as Steve Hansen's replacement

Former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains has cast doubt over the credentials of Crusaders coach Scott Robertson succeeding Steve Hansen - albeit for now.

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The current Crusaders boss is considered among the favourites to replace Steve Hansen. Source: 1 NEWS

With Hansen having vacated his role as All Blacks head coach after this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, the race is now on to replace the long serving boss.

Robertson, 45, is just one candidate believed to be in the running, alongside Hansen's assistant coach Ian Foster, as well as Japan's Jamie Joseph.

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The Crusaders coach said he's done all he can - now all that's left is December's interview. Source: 1 NEWS

However, speaking to Stuff, Mains - who coached the All Blacks for four seasons from 1992 through to 1995 - suggests that despite his success at Super Rugby level with the Crusaders, this time might be too early for Robertson to take charge of the All Blacks.

"There's a couple of things I would be asking. Has he had to work in adversity and bring a team that's not quite so good, up?

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A number of big names are vying to replace Steve Hansen, but the Highlanders coach isn't one of them. Source: 1 NEWS

"The other thing is, he's young, and he's got plenty of time on his side.

"Scott Robertson will definitely be an All Black coach at some stage of his career, if his performance continues the way it has gone over the last four or five years."

Outgoing New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew says that the new All Blacks coach will be announced before Christmas this year.