Ian Foster will not remain in his position post-Rugby World Cup – but who will replace him?
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster will not reapply for his after the Rugby World Cup in France, New Zealand Rugby have confirmed. A decision on his replacement is expected within the next six weeks – but sources in New Zealand suggest it is a two-horse race to be the next boss. For now.
Six-time Super Rugby-winning coach Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson, of the Crusaders, is many fans’ ideal choice, but current Japan head coach Jamie Joseph is also believed to be competing with Robertson for the gig.
Former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt, who has served as a selector and then assistant with the All Blacks, has maintained he is not interested in the role and the rumour is he will not apply for the job. We await news on the candidates.
Dame Patsy Reddy, the NZR chair said: “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.”
Elsewhere in a statement, on timing, NZR said: “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. This will be concluded in the next four to six weeks.”
Contenders to be All Blacks boss
A 22-cap All Blacks back-rower, Robertson has led the Crusaders to six Super Rugby titles in a row, and is hunting down a seventh.
Breakdancing, paddle-boarding and holistics, he is a considered a modern players’ coach. In recent times he has been linked with England and further afield, but he has been consistent in his detailing his desire to coach his country.
On recent times, Robertosn has said: “Our job is results driven, it’s board driven and people have got to make decisions, and you live with them.
“I think my integrity is really important. Well, it is to me, and making sure I live by those standards all the time. I’ve got to trust their process and take a big breath when I need to, and it will all work out.”
A fellow former international, from the back-five of the pack, Joseph has represented both the All Blacks and Japan in Test rugby.
He is currently coach of the former, being the first coach to ever take the Brave Blossoms out of a Rugby World Cup pool and into the knock-outs, doing so at the expense of Scotland in their home World Cup in 2019.
Joseph coached the Highlanders franchise to a Super Rugby title in 2014, and has also been the head coach of the Maori All Blacks.
When former Leinster and Ireland boss Joe Schmidt was brought into the All Blacks forld, head coach Foster said: “He’s working with me behind the scenes on the strategic areas we feel we need to move. I’m excited to have him on board.” And it looks like his influence has paid real dividends in recent outings.
It has been reported that he would not be interested in the top job…
As Leinster boss, Schmidt raised the bar and made winning a habit, claiming and took a couple of Heineken Cups. With Ireland, he led the team to their first-ever win over the All Blacks (the win taking place in Chicago). They repeated the trick again in 2018, this time on Irish soil.
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.