Current All Blacks coach Ian Foster has made a significant jab at New Zealand Rugby‘s reported timeframe for selecting the team’s coach through 2024 and beyond.
Foster said on Tuesday that NZR’s April deadline for hiring the 2024 All Blacks coaching staff is unnecessary and urged his employer to “allow the requirements of the team transcend the needs of a few.”
That remark appeared to be an insult to NZR, which was rushing to hire its preferred candidate before passing up a chance to hire Scott Robertson or Jamie Joseph, who would be in high demand from other countries following this year’s World Cup.
While other countries have already appointed new coaches, either immediately or as of the next year, NZR has not yet done so.
Foster claimed that selecting a new coach prior to the World Cup might seriously interfere with the All Blacks‘ performance in France and the international season that precedes the rugby world championship.
The fact that it looks like deadlines are being established based on what some favoured candidates believe is best for them rather than possibly what is best for this All Blacks team, in particular, has been distressing to hear.
“We have players working hard to get in shape, and then we tell some of these people that maybe their time is up in April or May. For some people, it will be okay, and for others, it might not, but that is the risk.”
“I believe that after weighing the benefits and drawbacks, it is not essential.”
Foster, whose contract only runs through the end of this year, suggested to NZME that he might like to continue in his current position as head coach in 2024, particularly if New Zealand won the World Cup.
Foster insisted that his motivation for stepping out was not self-preservation but rather what was best for his team.
My responsibility is to prioritize what is best for the team. I enjoy my profession, and I am fortunate to have a management and coaching staff that is dedicated to doing everything in our power to uphold the honor of France.