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Mar 21 2023

Scott Robertson appointed the next All Black coach (after the current one)


Scott Robertson has been announced successor to Ian Foster as head coach of the All Blacks, completing a controversial and highly idiosyncratic appointment process. He will assume the role in 2024, following the world cup at the end of this year. The contract for the breakdancing current coach of the Crusaders, a former All Black flanker nicknamed “Razor”, runs through to the end of the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Robertson added: “Having significant time to plan for 2024 and beyond is crucial to setting the All Blacks up for success during the next World Cup cycle. I have a job to do with the Crusaders and that will be my main focus through to the completion of Super Rugby, but I will now have the opportunity to work with NZR to get some key appointments in my coaching and management team finalised, so we can hit the ground running next year.“

Robertson said: “It’s a job that comes with a huge amount of responsibility, but I’m excited by the opportunity to make a contribution to the legacy of the black jersey. To represent your country, as a coach or player, is the ultimate honour in sport and it’s humbling to be given that opportunity. I can’t wait.”

At the end of last month the NZ Rugby chair, Dame Patsy Reddy, revealed that an appointment was imminent, saying: “Following wide ranging consultation and after carefully weighing up all scenarios and the key lessons from 2019, NZ Rugby is now commencing a process for selecting the All Blacks head coach from 2024. We appreciate these decisions are challenging as we try to find the balance between public scrutiny and high-performance expectations, within the need to safeguard our responsibilities and ensure we are prioritising conversations internally with our people.”

Foster had come close to getting the chop following disappointing results in 2022, only to be salvaged by player support and an unexpected victory at Ellis Park.

Labour now leads National across five polls

Labour leads National across five polls, but not if you add their likely governing partners.

Across five of the latest polls for which results are published, Labour now has an edge over National. A new Talbot Mills poll, as reported by the Herald, has Labour up four points to 37%, with National down two points to 34%.

The results, which draw on fieldwork across the first nine days of March, suggest that Chris Hipkins’ leadership has had a significant impact on Labour fortunes. In the Talbot Mills poll, National leader Christopher Luxon has fallen by four points in the preferred prime minister stakes to 23%, with Hipkins up by four to 39%.

The average of the five polls puts Labour on 35.9%, ahead of National on 34.3%, with Act on 12.3%, the Greens 9.1% and Te Pāti Māori on 2.6%. TPM is likely to make it to parliament irrespective of meeting the 5% threshold by winning an electorate seat, and on current polling looks to hold the centre of power. A putative National-Act bloc is ahead on average, with 46.6% to 45% for Labour-Green.

Chris Hipkins, as if celebrating the results above, this afternoon appeared for a photo opportunity eating a pie in the Hutt Valley.

The Bulletin: Multiple options for avoiding worst of climate breakdown

The final Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the climate crisis came out this morning. The report contains no new science but is a summary of eight years of research by hundreds of scientists and the last three IPCC reports published in August 2021, February and April 2022 respectively.

Stuff’s Olivia Wannan, Kate Newton and Eloise Gibson outline the evidence presented in six charts.

As the next IPCC report isn’t due until 2030, today’s summary is likely to be the last while it is still feasible to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC says avoiding the worst ravages of climate breakdown is still possible, and there are “multiple, feasible and effective options” for doing so.

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