Sports |  Rugby: New Zealand coach Ian Foster saves his head

Sports | Rugby: New Zealand coach Ian Foster saves his head

WELLINGTON – The New Zealand Rugby Union announced on Wednesday that Ian Foster will remain coach of the All Blacks until next year’s World Cup in France, renewing confidence in him despite his recent poor performance.

Foster thanked the union’s board of directors and CEO Mark Robinson for their “strong support”. “It’s an honor to have you in this position, it’s something you never take for granted,” he said.

The 57-year-old therefore remains in charge of the All Blacks for their next home game against Argentina on August 27 in Christchurch, as part of the third day of rugby, and theoretically until the World Cup in France in September 2023.

New Zealand rugby team boss Stuart Mitchell insisted the board still had confidence in Foster despite losing three of his last five matches of the year.

“I definitely want to point out that Ian Foster as head coach and Mark (Robinson) as general manager have the full support” of the board, Mitchell said.

Foster was under pressure after back-to-back defeats at home to Ireland last month, followed by a heavy loss to South Africa.

– “Enthusiastic” –

On Sunday, Robinson refused to publicly support Foster, even after the All Blacks beat South Africa the day before in Johannesburg (35-23), on the second day of rugby, the top four-nation competition. from the southern hemisphere.

But Foster claims he had no resentment after this episode.

“In a way, it’s part of the job for Robinson and Stew (Mitchell) to criticize me,” he said.

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“I wish it wasn’t, but we live in the real world and are under pressure to perform. I don’t mind that,” he added.

Foster received support from players like Ardi Savia and captain Sam Kahn after Saturday’s win. His predecessor, Steve Hansen, had recently given him a solid backing, blaming the New Zealand rugby leaders.

“I don’t think they are doing their job properly,” he said at the end of July.

Mark Robinson, as such, was urged to resign by some New Zealand media, insisting on Tuesday the current unity of all components of the All Blacks.

“We’re really excited (…) about the changes we’ve seen and some of the tweaks that Foster has made,” he said.

“We believe – at the board, executive and player level – that together we support this.”

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