Crusaders coach Scott Robertson approached Warren Gatland to join British and Irish Lions backroom staff

Scott Robertson (left) has terrific record with Crusaders
Scott Robertson (left) has terrific record with Crusaders

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has revealed that he had approached Warren Gatland for a possible role in the backroom staff for their upcoming tour of South Africa next year.

Lions are set to tour South Africa for a three-game Test series in July and August next year which could be postponed depending on the travel restrictions and other factors.

Gatland, who successfully took in charge of Lions during the 2013 and 2017 tours of Australia and New Zealand respectively is set to finalise his staff members next month and the former Wales coach had already approached Stuart Lancaster to join the backroom staff.

Meanwhile, Robertson, who guided Crusaders to successive Super Rugby titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019 lost the race to coach All Blacks to Ian Foster but now wants to be part of the Lions to gain international experience.

"Once I missed the All Blacks job I actually reached out to Gats and asked him if I could go on that tour," Robertson told Country Sport Breakfast on Gold AM.

"I thought, look if I can't be involved with the All Blacks, what's the biggest thing - or actually bigger in its own self the Lions tour - to get involved.

"I said 'look, I would love to help you if I can'.

"Obviously there's a lot to work out with COVID and the tour. But we had a couple good conversations since and he's got to go through his line of management to make a decision.

"Something that really drives me and motivates me is probably to learn and understand.

"Obviously Gats has been hugely successful at the international level as a coach so he's a person to learn off and also allows me to not have to go offshore to actually coach and get that international experience."