Rugby: Next All Blacks coach Scott Robertson reveals Leon MacDonald, Jason Holland, Scott Hansen as assistants

All Blacks coach-in-waiting Scott Robertson has confirmed his assistants, naming Leon MacDonald, Jason Holland, Scott Hansen and Jason Ryan to his staff from next year.

Last month, Robertson, 48, was appointed to take the national team reins in 2024, signing a four-year deal to succeed Ian Foster after the World Cup in October/November.

Speculation over who would make up Robertson's support team has since run rampant, with NZ Rugby confirming the powerful line-up on Wednesday.

MacDonald, 45, will take the role of attack coach, after establishing himself as one of New Zealand's premier Super Rugby coaches over the past four seasons with the Blues.

Robertson's former provincial and international teammate, MacDonald has transformed the Blues into championship contenders, losing to the Crusaders in the 2022 Super Rugby final.

Despite reported offshore interest, MacDonald has committed to Robertson's team for the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

"The All Blacks were the ultimate for me as a player and nothing has changed as a coach," he said. "It's an honour to be asked to join the coaching team and once my Blues commitments are complete, I look forward to starting a new chapter with a talented group of coaches."

Holland is another Super Rugby addition, after three seasons leading the Hurricanes, who lost previous coach John Plumtree to Foster's staff in 2020. He will assist MacDonald with the All Blacks attack.

After six titles in six years with the Crusaders - and the possibility of a seventh in 2023 - Robertson will also be joined by longtime assistant Scott Hansen.

Jason Holland and Scott Robertson.
Jason Holland and Scott Robertson. Photo credit: Getty Images

As he does with the Crusaders, Hansen will serve as the All Blacks defence coach and has made no secret of his desire to continue working with Robertson. 

"I look forward to supporting Scott Robertson in adding to the legacy of the All Blacks, while also forging strong relationships with our coaches, management, players and NZR staff," he said.

The appointments leave three Super Rugby sides without head coaches for next year, as the Blues and Hurricanes join the Crusaders in searching for new leadership.

As well as the trio of new assistant coaches, familiar faces will remain on board with the All Blacks in 2024.

Largely credited with transforming the All Blacks fortunes in 2022, Jason Ryan will continue as forwards coach - the same role he held under Robertson at the Crusaders, until his promotion to the national set-up.

Strength and conditioning coach Nic Gill also stays in a role he has filled with the All Blacks since 2004.

Leon MacDonald and Scott Robertson.
Leon MacDonald and Scott Robertson. Photo credit: Getty Images

The appointments come as welcome news to Robertson, who has acquired his top targets to fill the roles, as he begins his tenure as All Blacks head coach.

"I've known Jason, Leon, Scott, Alfie [Holland] and Gilly for a long time, and worked with them all at times during my playing and coaching career," he said. 

"They are a highly talented and motivated group, who will bring different strengths to the table and who share a similar philosophy on the game."

Click here for Scott Robertson's press conference from 4pm Wednesday