Ian Foster has received the support of New Zealand Rugby and has been retained as Head Coach to take the All Blacks to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
At a press conference held this afternoon NZ Rugby Chairman Stewart Mitchell said it was a unanimous decision by the board to allow Ian Foster to continue as All Blacks coach.
The New Zealand public and many critics had voiced criticism of the All Black coach following five losses in six matches. Last weekend’s 35-23 win over the Springboks in Ellis Park Johannesburg seems to have been enough to save Foster’s job.
All Blacks Selector and former Ireland national coach Joe Schmidt will take on a “more hands on role” and will take over the ABs attack said NZ Rugby.
New Zealander Joe Schmidt was the head coach of Ireland from 2013 to 2019. In six years under his leadership, Ireland won three Six Nations Championships, including a Grand Slam in 2018 and ranked number 1 in the World Rugby Rankings for the first time in their history in 2019.
Scott McLeod and Jason Ryan will stay on and there is presumably no other changes to the managent and support staff.
It’s a privilege to be in this job, it’s never something you take for granted,” Foster told a press conference in Auckland.
Foster confirmed he only found out he would be staying as Head Coach this morning.
“No doubt it’s been a hard time.. but you’ve got to be in the here and now,” said Foster.
“I’m a key catalyst for that and I’m delighted to be here.”
“In some ways that is part of the job and it’s part of Robo [NZR chief exec Mark Robinson] and Stew’s [NZR chairman Stewart Mitchell] job as well to critique me … I’d rather it wasn’t there but we live in the real world and we’re under pressure to perform. I don’t mind that.”
South Africa had recorded their biggest win over the All Blacks in 94 years in last week’s meeting, but a strong performance in Johannesburg saw Foster’s side turn the tables, prompting the coach to fire a broadside towards his detractors.
Foster told Rugby 365 that stress comes with the job. “It has been pretty vicious”.
There has been a lot of onslaught, particularly from our New Zealand media. They’ve got high expectations of us and they’ve made that loud and clear. They’ve clearly come very, very strong at me as a person.
“Some of them have even called our selections popgun, which I found quite insulting for players that give everything to play for their nation.
“That pressure has been strong but it doesn’t change the fact that through adversity that’s the best teacher for character and we’ve stayed tight.”
The next task for the All Blacks is to prepare to play Argentina in Christchurch Sat 27 August.