Steve Hansen dropped a bombshell after the World Cup final, suggesting he is unlikely to carry on as All Black coach through to the 2019 tournament.
Suddenly, New Zealand needs to find a new All Black boss. So who are the candidates?
The assistant coach is a frontrunner going on Rugby New Zealand's love of a succession plan. Foster's rise to the All Black panel was a touch controversial, because he didn't have a great record as a Super Rugby coach. Then again, nor did Hansen. Foster is a very likeable man, who has the ability to get the best out of people. The big question is whether he has the straight out coaching chops. It's now time to start trying to think of him as the top man, trying him on for size so to speak. Given the extraordinary success of the Hansen reign Foster must be a great chance. And the timing adds to his case - if Hansen steps down mid stream, after the 2017 Lions tour, then it will be no time for radical change with the World Cup only two years away. That is assuming the All Blacks have continued on their merry way. If they have struck serious problems, then Foster's star might fall.
Has head coach written all over him and the achievements with the Hamilton-based franchise are truly stunning. They have won titles and respectability. The Chiefs are also building themselves into a powerhouse. Rennie has a certain charisma and a great relationship with Aaron Cruden, who will very likely be the All Black No. 10. He's handled the superstars (think SBW), scouted superbly and brought players through a system he has helped create. So who would be his running mates? The Chiefs brigade?
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Has a significant blot on his copybook. Despite taking over a so-called dynasty at the Crusaders, and having a stack of All Blacks including the heart of the pack and a couple of legends, he hasn't won a title. His Crusaders were robbed by a referee in the 2014 final, but it still leaves him with a bridesmaid image. The former test captain is only a very outside chance.
Wow. What a prospect. A man who has shown he knows how to work through the tough times. It has been an up and down and up ride for the tough former All Black flanker. Re-built his unfancied Highlanders into champions, and turned out a handful of terrific All Black backs in the process. There is something charmingly old fashioned about Joseph. Another big season and he will be right in the frame.
The Hurricanes man could be on the rise, but it's too early to tell.
If he turns the Blues around...which is a big if. Former All Blacks captain Umaga has a lot of mana but his higher level coaching is an unknown quantity for now.
Joe Schmidt, Vern Cotter, Warren Gatland...
The overseas contingent can't be completely ruled out. The highly organised Schmidt is the best prospect, but it would take a lot of extraordinary events for the Irish coach to be available and overtake the home-based candidates.