Nervous Crusaders fans can breathe a sigh of relief with talisman coach Scott Robertson confirming this morning he has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby and the Canterbury Super Rugby franchise for the next three years.
Robertson announced this morning he will stay with the Crusaders through to the end of 2024.
“I love this team, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve on and off the field over the past five seasons, for the people of the Crusaders region,” Robertson said.
“The opportunity to continue to lead a world-class coaching group, in a club where everyone is really connected - from the Board, through to staff and the team on the field - is truly special.
The Crusaders have helped me grow so much as a coach and a person, and I value the relationship I have with our playing group, they challenge me every day. The best is yet to come from this team, so I’m excited to confirm my coaching future in New Zealand."
The deal comes after a rumour surfaced earlier this year Robertson could have been in line for the England head coach position with pressure mounting on current coach Eddie Jones - a rumour he played down at the time.
Robertson was the unlucky loser is NZR’s search to replace Steve Hansen after the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Hansen’s assistant Ian Foster instead chosen for the gig.
The former All Black included Blues coach Leon MacDonald and Crusaders assistant Jason Ryan in his pitch and said in May the trio were still on board for another bid, depending on when the job could be up for grabs again.
That opportunity could surface as early as next year with Foster's current contract expiring at the end of the season but it's unlikely unless the All Blacks have a horror campaign.
NZR CEO Mark Robinson praised Robertson for sticking with the Crusaders, saying his record there speaks for itself.
“We are fortunate to have the quality of coaches we do in New Zealand and Scott is someone who has added, and will continue to add, an enormous amount to the players and teams he’s involved with.
“His record has been exceptional at every level he has coached, including with the New Zealand Under 20s, and we are thrilled he will continue to play a major role in developing our players on and off the field for the next three seasons.
“It’s testament to Razor’s commitment and passion for New Zealand rugby and the Crusaders that he has decided to continue his career on home soil, and we look forward to his continued contribution.”
Since taking the helm, Robertson has collected three consecutive Super Rugby titles, from 2017-2019, as well as two consecutive Super Rugby Aotearoa titles, in the last two seasons.