One of the country's leading coaches - and a strong candidate to replace Steve Hansen at the All Blacks later this year - has admitted that he could be lost to New Zealand in the near future.

After back-to-back Super Rugby titles, Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is a man in demand and despite being close to re-signing with the franchise the 44-year-old says he could be tempted to leave.

"I've got some stuff I want to finish off with the Crusaders first, but I would also love to coach overseas, to go to another environment, and test yourself and your philosophy - that would be a really great challenge," Robertson told Newshub.

"To coach in France is a dream of mine. I played there for a reason - so I could learn the language and learn the culture and the way they do things."


Robertson - who has come through the ranks coaching the Sumner club, being a part-time assistant and then full-time head coach at Canterbury, and now Crusaders head coach with a perfect Super Rugby record - told the Herald in December he was expecting to sign a new deal with the franchise soon.

"It's obviously my home, so all those factors come into play but I love the team and I love the players," he said of his willingness to stay at Christchurch's Rugby Park.

"It's probably the first time in my whole career that I feel I can negotiate."

Scott Robertson's Crusaders will be aiming for a third succesive Super Rugby title this season. Photo / Photosport
Scott Robertson's Crusaders will be aiming for a third succesive Super Rugby title this season. Photo / Photosport

Roberston's passion for coaching and success have put his name in the frame as the next All Blacks head coach after Hansen announced he would be stepping down after the World Cup in Japan.

With Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt seemingly ruling himself out of the race, Robertson could be contending for the top job with the likes of Ian Foster, Warren Gatland, and Vern Cotter.

Robertson told the Herald though he would be keen on the position at some stage, out of respect for Hansen and the Crusaders he is wary about publicly revealing too much.

He was a crucial part of the team that won three titles in a row between 1998 and 2000 - which is still the only franchise to do so - and incredibly he is in with a good chance of doing it again as a coach.

The Crusaders take on the Blues in their season-opener at Eden Park on February 16.

"Trying to win a third title could be a burden, or you could make it about having great fun and doing something special," Robertson said.

"I'm on the latter side."