Scott Robertson says he's flattered by reports that he's in the conversation to be the Wales' next head coach, but says there's "nothing behind" them.

The Crusaders head coach is one of a number of Kiwis named by British media as possibilities for filling the role, with current coach Warren Gatland set to leave the role after the 2019 World Cup.

When asked about the reports by Radio Sport's D'Arcy Waldegrave, Robertson said he hadn't heard anything about them.

"Wowee, I don't know about that. I'm not sure where that's come from."


Robertson's name appeared alongside other Kiwis such as former Chiefs coach Dave Rennie and former Auckland coach Wayne Pivac as possible successors for Gatland, who will have held the role for more than a decade when he steps away.

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martin Phillips says they are closing in on a decision.

"We will get the coach done this summer," Phillips told the Guardian. "The shortlist is more than two and it's the same one we've had for a while.

"We've been interviewing for a few years now and it's been a combination of doing that, having meetings, and going for dinner. We've still got some more of that to do and then we'll make the call," Phillips said.

Wales have had a strong New Zealand coaching influence since Sir Graham Henry took over in 1998.

From 2002-2004, now All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was in charge, while Gatland has been in charge of the side since 2007, across more than 100 tests, an impressive achievement in the professional era.

It's not the first time this year that the Crusaders coach has seen his name appear in reports of possible successors for an international role.

Last month, reports indicated Robertson was being scouted as a potential replacement for Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika, who will hand over the reins if his side fail at next year's World Cup.

Since taking on his first head coaching role with Canterbury in 2013, Robertson has continuously seen success. In four seasons with the provincial side, Robertson won three Mitre 10 Cup titles. In 2015 he coached the New Zealand under-20s side to a World Championship, and in his debut season at the helm of the Crusaders in 2017 he won the Super Rugby title.

This season the Crusaders were on track for a long run in the playoffs and perhaps a chance to defend their title, losing just two of their opening 14 matches.

With just two regular season games left on their Super Rugby schedule, the southerners look set to finish at the top of both the New Zealand conference and the overall ladder.

With Super Rugby on hold due to the international window, the Crusaders will play a friendly against the French Barbarians in Christchurch on Friday night, with six players set to make their Crusaders debut.

Crusaders: Mitchell Hunt, Israel Dagg, Tima Faingaanuku, Rameka Poihipi*, Jone Macilai, Mike Delany, Mitchell Drummond (c), Ethan Blackadder, Billy Harmon, Mitchell Dunshea, Hamish Dalzell*, Quinten Strange, Michael Alaalatoa, Andrew Makalio, Donald Brighouse. Reserves: Seb Siataga*, Ryan Coxon*, Chris King, Luke Romano, Whetu Douglas, Jack Stratton, Sam Beard*, Caleb Makene*

* - on debut.