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Ian Foster Explains Joe Schmidt's Role With All Blacks Moving Forward

Ian Foster Explains Joe Schmidt's Role With All Blacks Moving Forward
By Gary Connaughton

Considering the sky high standards in New Zealand, it should not come as a surprise that their series loss to Ireland has launched a period of self-reflection within the country.

Serious questions are now being asked about the current All Blacks side, most notably in the coaching department. It was expected by some that Ian Foster would be quietly removed as head coach, although he looks set to keep the position for now.

However, it looks as though he will remain in charge for now after naming his squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

Were Foster to be replaced some time in the near future, two potential candidates for the position have been widely mentioned. Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is seen by many as the obvious choice, although Joe Schmidt is also in the conversation.

The former Ireland coach is actually currently part of the All Blacks setup, although his role was somewhat of an undefined one up to now.

Skills coach Andrew Strawbridge, left, and asistant coach Joe Schmidt during New Zealand rugby squad training at Eden Park in Auckland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ian Foster on Joe Schmidt's All Blacks role

Speaking at that squad announcement, Foster clarified what Joe Schmidt's duties were within the current hierarchy.

He's working with me behind the scenes on the strategic areas we feel we need to move. I'm excited to have him on board.

He's not travelling with us to South Africa and at this stage hasn't got an on-field role but he is working hard with me.

Schmidt stepped back from coaching after leaving his position with Ireland, although would become a prominent voice within World Rugby. He left his role as director of rugby and high performance last year in order to spend more time with family in New Zealand.

As for Foster, he insists that he is the right man to lead the All Blacks moving forward.

I am strong. I am resilient. I believe I have a great feel and relationship with my players. I'm strategic and I'm also accountable...

There's no doubt I'm under pressure, but I'm always under pressure.

As an All Blacks coach you live with that all the time. Does it hurt? Yes it does. But the key thing for me is ensuring we've got robust processes to make sure we have the right people in the right seats.

Foster survives for now, but there is no doubt that he is under massive pressure heading into the two upcoming fixtures in South Africa.


Should New Zealand come up short once again, they could well be on the lookout for a new head coach just over a year out from the World Cup.

SEE ALSO: Our 'Way Too Early' Irish Squad For The 2023 Rugby World Cup

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