All Blacks: Ian Foster believes that selecting overseas-based players ‘would be a disaster’ for New Zealand Rugby
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster believes that selecting overseas-based players ‘would be a disaster’ for New Zealand Rugby (NZR).
Scott Robertson will replace Foster after the Rugby World Cup, and the incoming head coach is more open to the idea of picking overseas players.
Earlier this week, Robertson was asked about a potential change in the All Blacks’ selection policy. He said that he was open to selecting overseas-based players.
“One thing they [NZR] have said to me is a bit of forward thinking and challenging the norm here. So we’ll have conversations,” the Crusaders boss said.
“You’ve got to be a step ahead. If you’re a step behind and then changing rules, that’s when you get caught.”
In an interview with Newstalk, Foster expressed his contrasting views on the subject, stating that it would be a disaster for New Zealand Rugby.
“From an All Blacks perspective, if I just looked at it purely selfishly from the All Blacks, it always makes some academic sense. But for New Zealand rugby as a whole, I think it would be a disaster,” he said.
“I think we’ve got a Super Rugby competition that has fed our national team for many, many years.
“I don’t think the Super Rugby competition is perfect. It needs a bit of work. But that is the development path.
“It’s where we actually develop our players; we’re able to work with the franchises in that space.
“I think we need to make sure we’re selling the product to the public, and we’re growing our young players with our older players around them.”
Exodus of top players
Foster believes that allowing players to play abroad would lead to an exodus of New Zealand’s best talents.
“The moment we open up the door, we know the worldwide demand for our players is huge, and I think we’ll lose a lot of our top players, and I think it will dilute our domestic competition too much,” he added.
“There’s pros and cons either way, but I think we have to look at the game as a whole, as a bigger picture.”
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