All Blacks: Ian Foster believes it is ‘highly unlikely’ he will remain head coach after the World Cup
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster believes it is “highly unlikely” that he will remain at the helm after the Rugby World Cup later this year in France.
Foster took over from Steven Hansen after the 2019 showpiece and has endured a rocky period in the All Blacks hot seat, dealing with the pandemic and mixed results.
Decent finish to 2022
However, despite a poor start to last season, the All Blacks finished strong towards the end of the year finishing unbeaten in their last seven games, including six wins and a dramatic draw against England in November.
Foster was honest when speaking about the future and the fact that he will likely be replaced as head coach.
“I think it’s pretty highly unlikely that I will be in this job next year,” Foster told Newstalk ZB radio.
“I keep getting asked about it, if I am going to apply, but the question (for me) is what is best for the All Blacks in 2023.”
New Zealand Rugby reportedly wants to finalise their coaching staff for next season by April this year with Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and Japan coach Jamie Joseph tipped to take over the job.
Foster is concerned the speculation over his future could take away from the preparation for a big year. The coach insists he is focused only on the World Cup, hoping to return the All Blacks to their former glory as world champions.
“This is more of a debate about who is going to apply rather than what is the right thing for the team,” Foster said.
“I’m reading the tea leaves and I think it looks like there’s a mood for a change.
“And, so for me, I’d like to put energy into that at the end of the year. Not now.
“My sole focus is on the World Cup. We have a big prize to win. I’d rather be talking about that in 2023.”
Part of Foster’s poor run in 2022 with the All Blacks included the first time losing a three-match Test series to a northern hemisphere opponent as well as their first loss to Argentina on home soil.
Only goal is to win the World Cup
Foster admits he has not spoken to any of his players about his future and firmly insists the goal for the All Blacks in 2023 is to win the World Cup.
“I haven’t tried to engage any players, they have enough pressure on them in their own areas,” he said.
“I speak on behalf of a management team of 20 people who are working their butt off to go to France and win the Rugby World Cup. That is our only goal.”
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