All Blacks: Legends call for Joe Schmidt influence on All Blacks coaching team

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Legendary former players and coaches of the All Blacks have called for the inclusion of Joe Schmidt to aid Ian Foster’s coaching team.

Former coach Alex Wyllie believes it will be detrimental to sack Foster so close to the Rugby Championship and next year’s World Cup.

Tweaks not changes

The 77-year-old believes changing the coaching team will only create further uncertainty for the players and suggested the All Blacks use Schmidt‘s knowledge as he joins the set-up as a selector.

“Changing coaches now probably isn’t going to happen at this stage,” Wyllie said. “If there’s a new coach in does he want to pick new players? All that’s going to do is create more uncertainty [for the players].

“Going forward, Foxy’s (Grant Fox) out of the selection panel and Schmidt is coming in. Whether Schmidt is going to have a lot to do with the coaching, I don’t know, but hopefully he’s been brought in to so they can use his knowledge.”

Former All Blacks captain Ian Kirkpatrick says the team should use the ex-Ireland head coach as a director within the structure to help revive New Zealand’s form.

“Joe Schmidt’s coming in and he’s got to be used more in the role as the director. I think they will want to use his expertise … he’s rated highly. He might be able to get something going,” said Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick also believes that the All Blacks’ best players are not “good enough” and that Ireland’s backline has been better than New Zealand’s over the last couple of years.

“You think, ‘have we got the best team?’ I wouldn’t say we have. That would be the worry, that our best players aren’t good enough,” he added.

“Watching Ireland in the Six Nations over the last couple of years, I thought their backline players seemed better than ours.”

The former flanker called for Akira Ioane to be used more after he showed good form to score in the final Test.

“If he gets going, he’s unstoppable, but I don’t know how much they use him. He’s got the ability to beat guys, he’s quick and he’s big, what’s the point of having him there if he doesn’t get used more,” he said.

Change is needed

Another former coach, Laurie Mains, did not want to join the Foster “crucifixion party” but admitted something needed to change.

“You just have to have the rugby knowledge and the determination, which is what All Blacks rugby is all about,” Mains said on Tova Weekdays radio show.

“I have a great deal of sympathy for Ian Foster, he’s been a long-term servant to rugby and I’m sure he’s always done his best, and I’m not about to join the crucifixion party.”

READ MORE: New Zealand: Former Warriors coach criticises the All Blacks for selecting a ‘mediocre’ coach

The article All Blacks: Legends call for Joe Schmidt influence on All Blacks coaching team appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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