Ian Foster will remain as the All Blacks’ head coach until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, having signed a two-year contract extension with New Zealand Rugby.
The news comes 10 days after the All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup for the 19th year in-a-row with a 57-22 win against the Wallabies in the second test at Eden Park.
Foster first joined the All Blacks’ coaching team as an assistant coach in 2012 after an eight-season-long stint in charge of the Chiefs in Super Rugby, and was appointed as head coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
🚨 ICYMI | Fozzie has been reappointed as All Blacks Head Coach.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 24, 2021
Ian Foster thanks New Zealand Rugby for their faith in him.
The All Blacks coach acknowledged that his job has been far from straightforward in light of the pandemic, but said it was a privilege to be able to continue in his position.
“Firstly, I want to acknowledge the Board and NZR for the faith they have shown in reappointing me. It’s a privilege to be part of the All Blacks and I don’t take that for granted,” Foster said.
“It’s clearly been a challenging couple of years with Covid-19, but I’ve been hugely proud of the resilience shown by the team. I’m personally driven to have our team continue to succeed as we build to Rugby World Cup 2023.
“What is equally important to me is the fact that I’m just one part of an outstanding coaching and management team and to continue working with them is a privilege and inspires me to be the best head coach I can be.”
Foster’s time in charge of New Zealand.
Foster’s first year in charge of New Zealand was massively disrupted by the pandemic, as the All Blacks only played six test matches in 2020, down from the usual number of 14 in a non-World Cup year.
The All Blacks weren’t exactly at their best in those six games, as they suffered losses to Australia and Argentina, although they did manage to win both the Bledisloe Cup and the Tri Nations (in the absence of South Africa).
New Zealand have looked better so far this year, having blown away Tonga and Fiji, before defeating Australia twice in comfortable fashion.
Bigger challenges lie ahead however, as their two games against reigning world champions South Africa have been confirmed for September 25 and October 2 in Queensland, Australia.