Foster new All Black assistant coach

Ian Foster
File photo
Ian Foster File photo

Former Chiefs coach Ian Foster is the new assistant coach of the All Blacks and Grant Fox is to join as a selector, it was announced today.

Former Hurricanes assistant coach and NZRU resource coach Brian "Aussie'' McLean will join the coaching staff as defence coach, with a skills coach to be added in the New Year.

Ian Foster coached the Chiefs in more than 100 Super Rugby matches from 2004 to 2011, and also co-coached the Junior All Blacks.

"This is a great honour to work with the All Blacks. I'm thankful for the faith that Steve Hansen and the board have shown in me,'' he said.

"I think the time I have had with the Chiefs and the Junior All Blacks has given me a taste of coaching at an international level, and this is a huge privilege for me as I look to fill (Wayne Smith's) big shoes,'' Foster added.

Fox, who played 46 Tests for the All Blacks from 1985 to 1993, will step down from his current position on the Blues board to take up the All Blacks' selector job.

He will join new coach Hansen and Foster on the All Blacks selection panel which will select squads for each of their regular campaigns - the June tests, the renamed Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri Nations) and the End of Year Tour.

"The chance to be involved with the All Blacks again - a team I care passionately about - was too good an opportunity to turn down and I was flattered when Steve called me and said he wanted me to be a selector,'' Fox said.

Fox added he was "excited by the challenges'' the All Blacks faced. "They climbed their Everest this year and now the aim will be to maintain that success. That's going to be the exciting thing for me.''

Aussie McLean said: "This is a huge responsibility which I have been given and I'm honoured and humbled. I'm excited at what lies ahead and ready for the challenge.''

Hansen said he was delighted to be able to announce the new positions.

"Grant Fox is not only a legend of our game but also one of the most astute people. I wanted to find someone independent from the team who had the ability to break down a player's game, analyse their strengths and weaknesses and bring a fresh viewpoint to the selection process, and he's that man.''

Biographies

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster was Chiefs coach from 2004 to 2011, taking the team to the semifinals in his first year and the final in 2009.

He was co-coach of the Junior All Blacks from 2005 to 2007, during which time the team won a two-test Series against Australia A, the inaugural IRB Pacific Five Nations tournament and the expanded Pacific Nations Cup. He also co-coached an All Blacks trial team in 2005.

Foster is the most-capped Waikato player (148 games) and played 28 games for the Chiefs.

All Blacks defence coach Brian "Aussie'' McLean is one of New Zealand's most well-regarded coaches. He has had more than 20 years coaching experience from club to international level, most recently as assistant coach of Samoa at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

He lead the New Zealand under 19 team at five world championships, including three victories, won titles with Canterbury in 2001 and 2004, provided analysis and coaching for the Crusaders (1999 to 2000) and was assistant coach with the Hurricanes (2006-2008).

All Blacks Selector Grant Fox is an All Blacks legend. He played 189 matches for Auckland from 1982 to 1993 scoring 2746 points, and 46 Tests for the All Blacks from 1985 to 1993. He was part of the 1987 Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks side and finished his All Blacks career with a then-record 645 points.

He has remained prominent in rugby since his playing days: he has been on the coaching staff of Auckland and the Blues, as well as a Blues board member; and most recently was a highly-respected comments man on Sky Television.


- APNZ

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