Rugby: Crusaders coach Scott Robertson 'flattered' by England job link, admits he's looking at new opportunities

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says that he's flattered by the reported interest around his services, having been linked with potentially taking charge of England's national side.

As pressure mounts on incumbent Eddie Jones, Robertson has been one of many names thrown into the hat if the Australian is to lose his job after the current Six Nations campaign.

"It's pretty flattering to be mentioned [for] international jobs - especially a role like that," Robertson says.

"It comes with a bit of honour and prestige to lead someone's country, so to be held in that regard is pretty special."

Robertson was the unlucky man to miss out on the All Blacks job, overlooked in favour of Ian Foster after Sir Steve Hansen vacated the post following the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

But having won four consecutive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders, an Under-20 World Cup with the Baby Blacks and multiple Mitre 10 Cups with Canterbury, Robertson could look abroad for his next role.

The 46-year-old concedes, though, that whatever his next move is will likely come down to what's best for his family. 

"I've been really patient here. I've been coming down to Rugby Park since 2008, as a coach. I've got a great lifestyle and stuff, but I'm also an ambitious career coach.

"For me to have an opportunity, whether it's here or elsewhere, you always keep looking at those opportunities. 

"But the family's the first thing on the mind. We've got three coming into teenage boys, we'll make the right decision for the family and the career."

Robertson's current deal with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is up at the end of the 2021 season. The Crusaders coach admits he's sought assurances from the decision makers at NZR about what the next step in his career might look like, should he choose to stay.

The current All Blacks coaching group are contracted through until the end of this year, which could open the door for Robertson to take over from Foster should NZR want to make a change after the current season.

"I've asked a few questions around the All Blacks job and what it will look like. We've talked to the coaching group that I took last time - we're still well aligned, but things can change. 

"We're just making sure we get a lot more of those answers back from those questions. I've done the Crusaders for seven years, which I love doing - but what does it mean? The next step after that.

"How does that line up around the '23 World Cup if this coaching group stays on? There's a lot of things going on. A lot of answers to come back."

Elsewhere, fellow Kiwi coach Warren Gatland has been another linked with the England job, with the Rugby Paper reporting the current British and Irish Lions coach has been "sounded out" about taking over from Jones.