The all-conquering coach of the Crusaders Scott Robertson has approached Warren Gatland about a role with the British and Irish Lions in South Africa next summer.
Robertson, who narrowly missed out on the All Blacks head coach job last year, has won three Super Rugby titles in a row with the Crusaders as well as this year’s Aotearoa.
“Once I missed the All Blacks job I actually reached out to Gats and asked him if I could go on that [Lions] tour,” Robertson said.
The former All Blacks forward added on Gold AM: “I thought, ‘Look, if I can’t be involved with the All Blacks, what’s the next biggest thing – or actually bigger in itself – the Lions tour, to get involved [in]?’
“I said: ‘Look, I would love to help you if I can.’
“We had a couple of good conversations since and he’s got to go through his line of management to make a decision.”
Gatland takes charge of the Lions full-time this month after a truncated season with the Chiefs, and will now start the process of assembling his back-room team.
Former England boss Stuart Lancaster is another name in the frame to help take on the world champions next July and August.
Gatland will travel to the UK and Ireland before this autumn’s block of internationals, and is expected to have recruited some or all of his coaching staff by the end of the year.
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