'We expect to carry on with Foz'
SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks captain Sam Cane is expecting Ian Foster to still be his head coach when they face Argentina in Round Three of the Rugby Championship.
Foster’s future remains up in the air on Monday despite the All Blacks’ impressive turnaround against South Africa in the Rugby Championship over the weekend.
The All Blacks broke a run of three defeats with a sparkling 35-23 win at Ellis Park on Saturday, but New Zealand Rugby (NZR) boss Mark Robinson declined to back Foster to continue in the role.
Foster appeared to have the backing of his players, with powerhouse loose forward Ardie Savea dedicating the win to the embattled coach.
And Cane has also thrown his full support behind the beleaguered coach.
“It’s hard when you know what’s going on in camp,” said Cane.
“You know it’s a happy camp that’s working hard and you sometimes feel [the criticism] is unwarranted.
“We fully expect to carry on with Foz (Foster) as head coach at this stage.”
The All Blacks team is scheduled to reassemble in Christchurch on Sunday to prepare for their next Test against Argentina and Foster is confident he will be there.
“I’m about to hop on a plane and go home and mow the lawns around the pool,” Foster told New Zealand media.
“I’ll be given feedback, no doubt, but my expectations are that I’m the All Blacks head coach and later in the week I’ll be going to Christchurch and assembling with the team until I’m told anything different.”
Foster added: “I certainly feel that I have the support and backing of the All Blacks.
“There’s still processes New Zealand Rugby want to go through.
“To coach this team, you have to have categoric support.”
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#REACTION: Ian Foster has called criticism of his team selections “insulting” after NZ ended a dismal run with a 35-23 win over hosts South Africa at their Ellis Park stronghold. 👇#RugbyChampionship #Springboks #SouthAfrica #NewZealand #AllBlacks #RSAvNZL https://t.co/SgVJ13NaZB
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) August 15, 2022
New Zealand media had speculated Foster would be sacked and replaced by Crusaders coach Scott Robertson if the All Blacks had slumped to another defeat in Johannesburg.
Foster’s former assistant coaches John Plumtree and Brad Mooar were removed after the Ireland series defeat last month despite having re-signed through to the 2023 World Cup.
Robinson said NZR would review the South Africa tour and confirmed the governing body’s board would meet this week.
“We believe we know where we stand and just have to work through it,” Robinson said.
“There will be a board meeting at some stage … The board is ultimately responsible for the appointment of the coach. That’s to be determined in terms of timing.
“We’ll be making no further comment until that time which is likely to be the middle to latter part of this week.”
Sources: AAP & Radio New Zealand