Champion Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has confirmed he wants to succeed Steve Hansen as All Blacks mentor and is buoyant about his chances.
The man who steered the Crusaders to a third successive Super Rugby crown on Saturday revealed he has been granted an interview in early December for what will be a vacant All Blacks coaching berth.
Breath of fresh air: Scott Robertson celebrates the Crusaders’ third straight Super title with his trademark breakdance.Credit:AP
The New Zealand Rugby interview process takes place a month after the Rugby World Cup, which will mark the end of Hansen's eight-year tenure.
Robertson has stormed onto a small shortlist of favourites for the role because of his unadulterated success at the Crusaders.
Without a title for eight seasons before he took charge, Robertson's impact has been undeniable.
Under his watch they've lost just five of 56 games on the way to a "three-peat", matching the feat he achieved as a player at the Crusaders from 1998-2000.
The 44-year-old said he'll enter the interview process with confidence.
"I'm a pretty optimistic person. If you have a crack I'd like to think you have a chance," he told TVNZ.
"I've got to prepare as best I can to put myself forward, I've done what I can do.
"Hopefully I'll have a great interview, all going well, and if they want someone, they know who they're getting with me."
The other leading candidate is likely to be long-time All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, who has helped maintain a period of dominance for the world's top-ranked side.
Foster's chances may hinge on whether New Zealand can lodge a historic third successive World Cup triumph in Japan.
There are no other obvious Kiwi-based contenders for arguably the most sought-after coaching post in world rugby.
Heavyweight options who have succeeded offshore such as Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt have effectively ruled themselves out.
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