With Munster on the look-out for yet another head coach, their fifth in ten years, Donal Lenihan believes he knows the "perfect fit".
Earlier this week the two-time Heineken Champions Cup winners announced that Johann van Graan would leave at the end of the season after four-and-a-half years in charge.
While some familiar names like Ronan O'Gara, Paul O’Connell and Mike Prendergast have been bandied about as potential replacements, former Munster and Ireland captain Lenihan reckons a left-field appointment is what the province needs.
Scott Robertson is the head coach at Crusaders and led the New Zealand team to three Super Rugby and two Super Rugby Aotearoa titles in five seasons.
Capped 22 times by New Zealand as a player, Robertson has previously played in France and getting more overseas experience would be a boost to his coaching CV.
The 47-year-old had been in the running for the All Blacks job prior to Ian Foster’s appointment in 2019 and now with Joe Schmidt coming on board as an independent selector, the time could be right for Robertson to experience new pastures.
"The dream [pick], if I had a blank cheque, would be Scott Robertson," Lenihan told the RTÉ Rugby podcast.
"What he’s done with the Crusaders, the kind of individual he is, he would just get the best out of players.
"During the World Cup in Japan we were out one night, well, we were out a lot of nights actually but on this particular night we were having a meal in a restaurant and we were introduced to Scott.
"The common denominator was ROG [O’Gara, who was an assistant coach at Crusaders] obviously.
"But I had a half-hour chat and he was infectious.
"I came out thinking that I’d love to be involved with him. I’d love to be playing under him, I’d love to be a management group with him.
"I think he would be the perfect fit. Now that he’s been overlooked by New Zealand and with Joe Schmidt coming into the New Zealand set-up, that could be closed off for Robinson for a while.
"He’s relatively young in coaching and he’s expressed a desire that he wants to coach in every league in the world.
"He played with Perpignan in the past so he wants to coach in the Top 14 in France.
"Maybe his best route to that would be to start in the Heineken Cup and the URC.
"Then maybe two- or three-years’ time, O’Gara, who obviously had a close relationship with, could see him involved and open another door.
"Right now, I don’t think ROG would be interested in the job for all kinds of reasons.
"The Robertson [appointment] would be outstanding. I’d give anything for him to be involved."
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