Foster opens up on All Blacks squad headache
SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has confirmed that he will be taking a much bigger squad to Australia for the Rugby Championship.
Foster named a 35-man squad earlier this month, which will be used for the first two Bledisloe Cup matches in New Zealand in October.
The All Blacks coach is then set to add another 10 t0 11 players to that original squad for the Rugby Championship in Australia (November 7 to December 12) to deal with issues around replacing injured players as two weeks in quarantine is required.
“From a player welfare set up I don’t think we can delay the naming of the extra players too close to departure because people are going to need the time to get organised for that nine-week stint,” Foster told the NZ Herald.
“We’re going to let the next week or two go but we’ll name those players with enough time to get their personal stuff in line and come away with a lot of energy.”
Squad rotation will be key and Foster admitted it will be a challenge with the number of players he will have in his squad.
“They’re going to be significant but not insurmountable. We’ve got an experienced leadership group and management – they’re challenges we have to deal with one at a time and not get overwhelmed by them.
“We’re going to have re-think how we do some things as an All Black. Some traditional things might have to change. We’ve got a mantra that everyone prepares to play every Test. You can’t do that with 45 or 46 players.
“We’re going to have to be rotating, bring back that word. We’re obviously going to have to change players in and out significantly.
“When you’ve got four or five-day turnarounds between some Tests you’d like to think the four props you use in one test won’t be the four props you use in the next test.”
Source: NZ Herald