MIKE BROWN: I loved my week with the Barbarians with positive disruptor Scott Robertson…he has exceeded my expectations and would be perfect to replace Eddie Jones as England manager next year.
- Spending time with Scott Robertson has exceeded my expectations of him.
- Barbarians manager would be the perfect successor to Eddie Jones for England
- Robertson is capable of improving the atmosphere in the locker room
- Having worked with both, I would choose Robertson over Steve Borthwick.
I have been lucky enough to spend the week with Scott Robertson at the Barbarians camp this week and he has convinced me that he should be England’s next manager. He would be the perfect successor to Eddie Jones after the World Cup.
I had heard a lot about his achievements with the Crusaders in New Zealand and he exceeded my expectations. What really struck me is how good he is with people. I’ve played for many coaches over the years, but I haven’t come across one that brings people together like Scott did this week.
Some of us met for coffee on the first day and posted a picture of some flat whites on the team WhatsApp group. Scott responded by saying ‘Where are the beers?’ and he encouraged us all to have a pint together. You feel comfortable with him right away. You feel like you can have a normal conversation with him and I think England would really benefit from that human touch.
Scott Robertson would be the perfect successor to Eddie Jones as England’s next manager
He connects with people so well and so quickly. Little things like putting one of the quieter guys in charge of the music so they feel like they have purpose and belong in the group. Lots of coaches can do the tactical and technical parts, but not many of them are also exceptional motivators. Scott makes it enjoyable and I think that’s exactly what the England team needs.
There is so much talent in English rugby and I think they need a manager who will calm them down and allow them to flourish and develop. My experience of playing for England is that there is always a bit of fear and Scott would change that. He encourages you to be yourself and be brave on the field. Someone like Marcus Smith would be in his element.
On a Robertson-led team, I don’t think Smith would have kicked the ball for an equalizer like he did yesterday. He seemed to epitomize the England mentality. It was as if they were happy with that result.
Players like Marcus Smith would thrive playing under Robertson’s style
That’s not the Marcus Smith playing for Quins that people know and love. How many times has Quins been back? If he was wearing a Quins jersey he wouldn’t have accepted the draw and that shows something deeper in the environment. Why is it different with England?
They had a long way to go to score, but why not try for at least a couple of phases? To me a draw is the same as a loss, you haven’t won and I can’t see New Zealand in the same situation. All the momentum was against them, New Zealand were down to 14 players and they were struggling so why not give it a go?
We’ve gotten used to England players leaving England camps feeling mentally drained and I think that would change under Robertson. We have to get away from that. He shouldn’t be draining.
Steve Borthwick has done brilliantly at Leicester, but Scott is better suited for the England role.
It should be fun as well as challenging. We had Adele sing at one of our gatherings this week! She connected us as a group.
Having worked with both, I would choose Scott over Steve Borthwick. Steve has done a brilliant job at Leicester and is top-notch in terms of detail, but they are very different types. I feel like Scott would come in and shake things up.
I sat down with him doing a question and answer session before our match against Harlequins at the Stoop on Thursday night and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Connecting with the players, the board and the public is part of England’s job. You have to be a figurehead. I think Eddie has lost a bit of that along the way. He is not the typical cast of English rugby union. He would come in and be a bit of a positive disruptor.