New Zealand Rugby could be left to fork out a large financial sum to bring together Ian Foster’s coaching group in the wake of his announcement as the next boss of the All Blacks.
It’s believed that the 54-year-old wants to make Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar a key component of his backroom staff as backs and attack coach, but the appointment of the ex-Crusaders assistant could come at a cost.
A report from the New Zealand Herald states that Mooar, who has been at Scarlets for just four months since being recruited from the Crusaders ahead of the 2019-20 PRO14 campaign, only told his bosses in Wales of his desire to move back to New Zealand to link up with Foster “within the past 48 hours”.
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The Herald says that executives from the Llanelli-based club “were blindsided by the news and are yet to hear from anyone at New Zealand Rugby”.
It’s an awkward situation for both parties, especially given that Mooar, who has been signed to Scarlets on a three-year deal, has proven to be hugely popular in the region after having sold his long-term vision to players, staff and fans of creating a dynasty at the club.
Since his arrival at the Parc y Scarlets, the 45-year-old former lawyer has led his side to five wins in his opening seven matches in the PRO14, while he has won a further two matches from three outings in the European Challenge Cup.
After being met with an onslaught of public backlash in the wake of being named as the next @AllBlacks head coach, Ian Foster has a lot to prove over the next two years. #AllBlackshttps://t.co/mINIDQU3wu
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 13, 2019
As such a popular and compelling figure in Llanelli, it’s expected that Scarlets will want significant compensation should Mooar exit his contract with more than two-and-a-half years remaining on his deal.
WalesOnline are reporting that Scarlets have since held urgent meetings with their Kiwi mentor as they scramble to solidify their future.
“The Scarlets are in discussions with Brad Mooar amid increasing speculation linking him to a role in the new All Blacks coaching team,” the news outlet reported on Friday.
“Neither the New Zealand Rugby Union nor the Scarlets have yet spoken publicly about the rumours.
“But it is believed the west Wales region are in talks with Mooar as fears grow that he could be poised for a return to his homeland.”
If he does defect back to his homeland, it would be a hefty blow to Scarlets, who would be forced to dip back into the market so soon after losing their ex-head coach Wayne Pivac to the Welsh national side as Warren Gatland’s successor.
Foster hasn’t yet revealed his lineup of assistant coaches as contracts continue to be worked through, but Mooar looms as one of four henchmen, alongside Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree, current All Blacks defence coach Scott McLeod, Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek and incoming Chiefs kicking coach David Hill.
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