Rugby: Scott Robertson edging closer to role with Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is hopeful he will be part of the British and Irish Lions set-up for the 2021 tour of South Africa.

Robertson has repeatedly confirmed his eagerness to join Warren Gatland and his squad for the series against the world champion Springboks next June, and with his coaching future almost locked down - a stint with the Lions is looking more likely.

The former All Black told media last week he was making progress in contract extension talks with New Zealand Rugby as he desires to remain in New Zealand for the immediate future.

And his potential Lions stint is set for another tick of approval, with Robertson confirming to Sky Sport, he is close to securing a coaching gig with the Barbarians, who play South Africa as part of their build-up for three-test series. 

"I’m trying to tie that up at the moment, actually," Robertson told The Conversation. 

"I've talked to Gats, there is a potential for me to coach the Barbarians, and then jump in and help that coaching group."

Robertson's contract with NZR expires at the end of 2021, but he is likely to be a priority signing, given current All Blacks coach Ian Foster's initial deal ends at the same time. 

The three-time winning Super Rugby coach says he still has the ambition to coach the All Blacks. 

"That’s what I’d like to do.

"My family with the age, I want to stay loyal. I've still got aspirations to go higher, but some of those things are out of my control."

But Robertson wishes no ill will on the current national coach and says he wants the team to do well and succeed, even if it dents his own coaching ambitions.

"You wish them all the best. I've got some great mates in the management and the playing group," he told Sky Sports.

"You don’t wish any ill on anyone else. It’s not the way you work, is it?"