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New Zealand Rugby board slammed for Ian Foster coaching fiasco, Rugby Championship, news

Australian coach Matt Williams has joined a group of rugby personalities, including former New Zealand rugby boss David Moffett, as Ian Foster has hinted at his future as an All Blacks in his opposition to the current administration.

Despite a 35-23 win over the Springboks at Ellis Park in the second round of the Rugby Championship, it has not yet been announced that Foster will continue to coach the All Blacks, at least publicly.

The All Blacks coach, who presided over their first home defeat since 1994 after losing 2-1 to Ireland last month, said he had no idea whether to coach the national team following Sunday’s dramatic win in Johannesburg. (AEST)

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson flared the situation and took the focus away from the win by calling a Sunday night media conference where he didn’t say anything.

Instead, he could not support Foster and did not support or fire the coach, explaining that more meetings will be held in the coming days.

“We know where we stand and we believe we’ve done it now,” Robinson said.

“The main priority at this point is to get everyone home. Once we get home, we’ll meet with the administration as soon as possible and let them know how the tour went and where we saw things.”

“We won’t be making any comments until then, mid to late this week.”

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NZRU chief executive Mark Robinson (L) is under fire for his handling of All Blacks coach Ian Foster's (R) future.  Photo: Getty Images
NZRU chief executive Mark Robinson (L) is under fire for his handling of All Blacks coach Ian Foster’s (R) future. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The response came after the All Blacks, as well as Robinson, were criticized for their silence following the Ireland series defeat in July. Eventually, Foster parted ways with two of his assistants, including head coach John Plumtree, and brought in Scott Robertson’s right-hand man for the Crusaders, Jason Ryan.

A board meeting on Wednesday – 10 days before the All Blacks’ test against Michael Cheka’s Argentina against Pumas – is expected to decide Foster’s fate.

Moffett told Newstalk ZB: “I’ve heard a lot about the press conference he[Robinson]had and I think everything he did made things worse.

“Whether the fans think it could be Foster or whether it’s Scott Robertson, the fact of the matter remains that Foster has been kept dry by Robinson and I don’t think that’s good enough.”

I think the average person is like, ‘Well, why do you make the decision to either fire him or not bring him back.’

All Blacks captain Sam Kane (C) holds the Freedom Trophy as he celebrates victory over the Springboks. Photo: AFPSource: AFP

Before hopping on a plane to return to New Zealand, Foster said he planned to train the All Blacks for the trials against the Pumas.

“I haven’t heard or read those comments but he has work to do,” Foster said when asked about Robinson’s comments in Johannesburg.

“I’m going to jump on a plane and go home.

“He will give me feedback, no doubt, but my expectation is that I am the head coach of the All Blacks and unless I am told otherwise during the week, I will go to Christchurch and assemble the squad.”

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Ian Foster (coach) at the post-match press conference following the All Blacks’ win over the Springboks at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Moffett, who was chief executive of NZR from 1996-2000, said he had “no idea” whether the decision was made behind the scenes, and “from the sound of it, neither did Ian Foster, I think that’s an absolute shame”.

“This guy has been hanging for weeks and weeks now,” Moffett said.

Unfortunately New Zealand Rugby seems to be a department of government – it can’t make a decision…

“Oh, ‘We’ll just have a review, then we’ll have another review.’ I mean the reviews are coming out of their ears.

“They should have known in advance what they were going to do. Their inability is incompetent.

Ian Foster (C) hugs flyhalf Aaron Smith following the All Blacks’ win over the Springboks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on August 13, 2022. Photo: AFPSource: AFP

Moffett was not alone in his harsh criticism of NZR, with former Waratahs and Ireland coach Williams believing they had departed from what had taken them to a good position in 2007.

“Your CEO and your board are the leaders of your company, and they have to show leadership. Now they’re not,” he said on Irish sports show Off the Ball.

In the year They wanted to fire Richie Mack in 2007 and fired Graham Henry and Steve Hansen instead of standing with them like the management did in 2007. Both coaches who were with the team at that time managed to win the World Cup.

“That leadership that the NZRU showed, they’re certainly not showing now. And that’s the thing, it’s their team. Therefore, a leadership gap has been created and their team is increasing and the coach has been promoted.

“There is a huge problem with New Zealand rugby, not necessarily with their team but with other aspects of management,” he added.

The comments came after World Cup-winning All Blacks coach Steve Hansen revealed the relationship between the NZR board and players was at an all-time low.

Hanson spoke of recent comments about Ian Foster and former Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore, saying: “They went out and aired all their dirty laundry out the back of the property at the front.” World Cup year.

“So their job [NZ Rugby] It’s about running with strength and leadership, but in the way you protect the people who benefit you.

Otherwise, I think you’re doing it right now.

“So the relationship between the board and the executive and the players is probably the worst it’s ever been.”

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