Foster to remain All Blacks head coach, Schmidt named as assistant

By Sports Desk August 17, 2022

Ian Foster is staying on as New Zealand head coach and Joe Schmidt has been appointed as his assistant.

Foster had been under huge pressure following a dismal run of five defeats in six Tests, before the All Blacks lifted the gloom with a 35-23 Rugby Championship win over South Africa at Ellis Park on Saturday.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson had only guaranteed Foster would remain in the role for the two Tests against the Springboks.

Robinson stated after the victory over the world champions in Johannesburg that the governing body would "take stock" and hold a debrief, with Foster saying he expected to retain his job.

NZ Rugby on Wednesday confirmed that the 57-year-old will be in charge through to the Rugby World Cup in France next year, with Schmidt taking on a full-time role supporting him.

Stewart Mitchell, the NZR chair, said during a press conference in Auckland: "[The board] have unanimously agreed they have absolute confidence that Ian and this coaching group are the right people to lead the All Blacks through until the World Cup.

"This has been privately and publicly validated by our players and various conversations with our high-performance team."

Former Ireland head coach Schmidt had already been working in the All Blacks' set-up and Foster welcomed his appointment.

"Joe Schmidt has been on my radar, probably for a couple of years," said Foster.

"We flagged at the start of this year that his role was to join us after the Irish series as an independent selector to replace Grant Fox and in addition he was going to do some opposition analysis work and work alongside myself in the strategy area.

"We started that after the Irish series [which Ireland won 2-1] and delighted with how that's going. I have a great relationship with Joe."

Holders New Zealand are back in Rugby Championship action against Argentina at Orangetheory Stadium a week on Saturday.

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