All Blacks coach Ian Foster to stand down after World Cup campaign with NZ
All Blacks coach Ian Foster has announced that he won’t reapply for his job beyond this year’s Rugby World Cup, leaving Scott Robertson and Jamie Joseph to take the reins for 2024 and beyond.
New Zealand Rugby revealed earlier on Wednesday that it would appoint the next coach “within four to six weeks,” leaving the much maligned Foster in an awkward position.
NZR chair and former Governor-General Patsy Reddy said Foster would retain “the full support” of the organisation through to the World Cup.
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Foster had previously spoken out against any move to name a new coach before the tournament, suggesting it would be destabilising for the team.
“As I said last week, I felt the best thing for our team and for our entire management group was to have this process done after the Rugby World Cup,” Foster said.
“That hasn’t happened but we will accept the decision and move on.
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“My sole focus remains unchanged. It is to lead this All Blacks team and management group in our planning and preparation so that we go to France with the goal of winning the Rugby World Cup and making this country proud. I won’t be reapplying for the job of head coach.”
Successful Crusaders coach Scott Robertson applied and missed out when Foster was appointed in 2019.
Robertson had called for an early decision by NZR as he had other offers to consider.
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“New Zealand Rugby has a responsibility to the game with respect to the appointment of our national coaching teams,” Reddy said.
“This is particularly important in a global rugby environment where there is significant competition for elite coaching talent.
“Following wide ranging consultation and after carefully weighing up all scenarios and the key lessons from 2019, New Zealand Rugby is now commencing a process for selecting the All Blacks head coach from 2024.”
Foster succeeded Steve Hansen as coach in 2019 after seven years as his assistant.
In appointing Foster, NZR said it had done so in the interests of “continuity.”
Foster has one of the worst records of an All Blacks coach in the professional era and lost Tests at home last year to Ireland and Argentina.
“Noting the divergent views as to the best timings for this process and that neither timing window is perfect, out of respect for the people involved New Zealand Rugby will not be making any further comment after today until a decision has been reached,” Reddy said.
“This will be concluded in the next four to six weeks.”
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