Newly-appointed New Zealand head coach Ian Foster says he is “truly privileged and honoured” to succeed Steve Hansen in the top role.
The 54-year-old was tipped to become head coach having worked alongside Hansen as assistant head coach of the All Blacks since 2012 and beat out Crusaders boss Scott Robertson who also interviewed for the position.
New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey this morning confirmed that Foster has signed a two-year deal and will be joined by four coaches who will be announced in due course.
“While we can’t confirm the full make-up of the coaching team today, we’re delighted with the quality they bring − they have a wide range of coaching experiences and are a diverse group of thinkers.
“On behalf of New Zealand Rugby, I want to congratulate Ian on his appointment, and we wish him well for this next phase in the All Blacks’ story,” Impey said.
Meanwhile, Foster admits he is “humbled” to be accepted as head coach.
“I feel truly privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity and I can’t wait to lead the team into the next chapter of what is a remarkable legacy,” he said.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the All Blacks over the last eight years and I’m excited and energised by a new coaching team who will join me.
“It’s incredibly humbling to be appointed to the job and I have a strong desire to serve the jersey well and represent New Zealand to the best of my ability.”
Hansen announced in December 2018 that he would step away from the role following the Rugby World Cup after seven years in charge. Their bid to retain the Webb Ellis Cup came to a grinding halt against England at the semi-final stage.
Incoming NZR CEO Mark Robinson now hopes that Foster can bring a “fresh energy” to the set-up.
“These are exciting times. Ian has pulled together a very strong team and he is an outstanding person in his own right with a high-quality set of values.
“He is committed to stamping his own mark on the team and it’s clear that he and his coaching team want to bring a new and fresh energy into the All Blacks environment.”