NZ Rugby boss slammed for 'deplorable' treatment of Ian Foster
REACTION: Former New Zealand Rugby CEO David Moffett has doubled down on last month’s criticism of current NZR boss Mark Robinson, branding the way he has left the future of All Blacks coach Ian Foster in limbo as incompetent.
Moffett led the NZR during the early years of the game turning pro, serving as CEO from 1996 to 2000, and on the back of Robinson’s recent trip to the UK to attend the Commonwealth Games, he insisted the CEO should come home and resign.
“He [Robinson] should come back to New Zealand and while he is here, write his [NZR] letter of resignation,” said Moffett at the time when it was decided to allow Foster to take charge of the All Blacks for the two-game series in South Africa but with no clarity about his position beyond that.
“It’s debilitating for everyone, but especially the fans. If Robinson cared about the fans he would be here speaking directly to the fans and saying, ‘These are the mistakes we have made, this is what we are doing to correct it and I am going to be accountable’.
“How out of touch are these guys in New Zealand Rugby? Saying nothing is the least favourite option? He should be back here, fronting the media, holding up his hand – not leaving it up to guys like Foster to front the media on this bloody shambles. It’s chaotic in there at the moment.”
With the All Blacks having finished the series against the Springboks by winning last Saturday’s rematch in Johannesburg after losing the previous weekend’s opener in Mbombela, a subsequent media briefing held by Robinson failed to clarify if Foster will be the head coach when the team next plays, the August 27 match at home to Argentina.
It’s a state of flux that Moffett has savaged the indecisive Robinson over during an appearance on the Heather du Plessis-Allan radio show on Newstalk ZB.
“I have heard a lot about this non-event that was the presser that he held and all he [Robinson] did was make things worse, dramatically worse,” bemoaned Moffett.
“Whether any of the fans think it should be Foster or it should be Scott Robertson [as head coach], the fact of the matter remains that Foster had been left out to dry by Robinson and I don’t think that is good enough. The average person would say, ‘Well, why don‘t you make a decision and either sack him or back him?’”
Moffett gave no indication as to what way the decision will go for Foster when this latest NZR review is completed.
“I have no idea at all and by the sound of it neither does Ian Foster, which is absolutely deplorable. This guy has been left hanging now for weeks and weeks.
“Unfortunately, New Zealand Rugby is actually looking like they are a Government department, can’t make a decision, don’t know what to do, we’ll just hold a review, then we will hold another review. The reviews are coming out of their ears. They should have already known what they were going to do and the fact that they didn’t is incompetent.”
Asked if he himself believed that Foster should remain as coach of an All Blacks team that had lost five of its last six matches before last Saturday’s Ellis Park riposte, Moffett added: “It is a very difficult situation.
“When we now talk about coaches, it’s a professional sport and it is all about results and if you have a look at the guy who has just gone to Manchester United, a guy called [Erik] Ten-Hag, he has lost two in a row and they are already people there calling for his head. It just goes with the territory. You either have success or you don’t. That is just the reality of professional sport.”
By Liam Heagney, @RugbyPass