All Blacks coach Scott Robertson has commented on Joe Schmidt’s hiring as Wallabies head coach, stating that he believes Rugby Australia has identified the perfect candidate for the position.
Schmidt, a former Ireland head coach and All Blacks assistant coach, signed a two-year contract with the Wallabies that begins in March and will last until the completion of the British and Irish Lions trip in 2025.
Replaces Eddie Jones.
He succeeds Eddie Jones, who left following a brief but dismal tenure in charge of the Wallabies, during which they won only two of nine matches.
Jones’ term as Wallabies coach includes their unprecedented withdrawal from the World Cup’s pool round, and after resigning immediately after the tournament, he went to Japan and was appointed head coach of the Brave Blossoms.
Although Schmidt’s selection has been criticized by several Australian rugby officials, Robertson believes he can turn the Wallabies’ fortunes around.
“He’s got a great CV – he’s a good pair of hands and is experienced, so it’s good timing for Australia and him,” Robertson told Stan Sport at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
“There’s no outs. You’ll know where you need to be on the field and know what the expectations are of you.
“He’s a great rugby mind. He’ll be clear.”
Australia last won the Bledisloe Cup in 2001 with New Zealand dominating the trans-Tasman fixture for the next 22 years. However, there have been occasions where the Wallabies have pushed the All Blacks close and two of their past four losses to the men in black were by fewer than three points.
“It’s been a long time since you held it up, but there’s periods in games – a famous moment back here, our French friend … it can swing quite quickly,” said Robertson.
“It comes down to the passion on both sides; it’s really clear every time you see it played.
“The importance on the night, it’s really critical, doesn’t matter what form.”
Although some senior All Blacks have left New Zealand following the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Robertson believes their departure will provide opportunity for others to go to the next level, noting that rebuilding procedures are not part of the All Blacks vernacular.
“Winning becomes before development,” he added.
There is plenty of depth in their ranks.
“We have some depth coming through. The conclusion of a World Cup cycle… Someone always steps up.