Scott Robertson has spoken out on the gruelling interrogation tactics Sir Graham Henry used during his interview for the All Blacks head coach job last December.
Robertson vied with Ian Foster for the top job, but the former ultimately missed out as the latter was promoted from assistant coach to head coach of the All Blacks following the resignation of Steve Hansen.
Henry, who coached the All Blacks between 2004 and 2011, was one of five people on the selection panel for the All Blacks job, along with NZ Rugby trio Mark Robinson (CEO), Brent Impey (board chairman), and Mike Anthony (head of high performance) as well as former Silver Ferns netball coach Waimarama Taumaunu.
Robertson, who coached the Crusaders to a record three consecutive Vodacom Super Rugby titles between 2017 and 2019, says out of the all panel members during his interview, Henry was the toughest on him.
‘But it was probably around my decision-making and he [Henry] challenged me on it,’ Robertson told Will Greenwood’s Podcast on SkySports.
‘And what my thoughts were around why I was doing a couple of things and is that right. It was quite a challenging moment, but I wanted them to challenge me. Graham Henry was really deep.
‘It made me think. I felt like I hadn’t articulated myself, probably, as well as I could have and should have. That is good. You want that in those situations. But Ted is a wise old man and fully respect to him for doing it.
‘He put me in a corner a couple of times, and wouldn’t let me out, which I loved. I knew the tough questions were coming. I just did my best. I walked out of there thinking, “They know what they are going to get, they know how I am going to coach it.”
‘I believe I had the rugby public knowing I was going to give everything and a potential change is what the All Blacks needed. But I respect the process, respect the guys that ran it. They feel that Fozzie had more experience in his coaching group, probably had more of what they wanted.’
Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix