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'Creeping sense of arrogance': Aussie scribe slams ABs after coaching saga

By Finn Morton
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

New Zealand Rugby’s decision to appoint the next All Blacks coach ahead of this year’s World Cup has not gone down well across the ditch.


An Australian rugby scribe has slammed NZR for their treatment of coach Ian Foster, saying they’ve pushed a “creeping sense of arrogance” onto the All Blacks.

NZR confirmed earlier this week that Scott Robertson would replace Foster as the All Blacks’ head coach following this year’s World Cup in France.

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Robertson, who has won six Super Rugby titles in as many years with the Crusaders, had been linked with the position for quite some time.

But after months of headlines and debate, NZR made the appointment official in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

After signing the deal with NZR, a smiling Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson fronted the media for the first time at the New Zealand Rugby House in Wellington.

But the All Blacks still have a World Cup to win this year – and a different man will be coaching the team.


Journalist Christy Doran said it was “extremely odd” for “the New Zealand public” to welcome a new All Blacks coach ahead of this year’s Test campaign.

“A ball hasn’t really even been kicked from an All Blacks perspective this year, and the New Zealand public are welcoming a new All Blacks coach. It just seems extremely odd,” Doran told Newstalk ZB’s Sportstalk

“It just is extraordinary that an All Blacks coach, a World Cup winning coach, a person that’s been in the system for so, so long has to deal with this.

“I just get the feeling that if, if you’re an All Black and you lose one of the Rugby Championship matches or indeed the first game of the World Cup against France in Pairs on the opening night of the World Cup, there will be a lot of questions asked.


“It will take an incredibly strong group to get through that and to not lose sight of what the end vision is for this side.”

Ian Foster, who won a World Cup in 2015 as an assistant coach, will carry out his duties in the All Blacks’ hot seat will carry out his duties in the pursuit of rugby immortality later this year.

The All Blacks will look to create history later this year, as they attempt to become the first nation to win the Rugby World Cup for a fourth time.

But regardless of the outcome, Foster’s tenure will come to an end.


Doran believes the All Blacks have a “sense of arrogance” about them now which has been driven by NZR.

“I’m concerned about the All Blacks side that there’s been this creeping sense of arrogance which has been driven from the New Zealand Rugby board and Mark Robinson,” he added.

“We saw it with Super Rugby decisions, we see that with (the) private equity deal that was, you know, it took an extra year to get across the line because the various stakeholders weren’t brought along.

“You see that with the New Zealand public at the moment. A lot of them are pretty angry around the All Blacks and what the All Blacks represents these days, and we’ve seen that creep into the side more and more over the last few years.

“Here was an opportunity, six to seven months ago, to make a bold call, bring in Razor Robertson and they haven’t.

“They shouldn’t have brought him in five months before a World Cup when, you know, they didn’t even have the courage and conviction to make this decision when Ian Foster was around.

“They did it in the middle of the night when the bloke’s asleep. I thought that was a terrible, terrible look.”

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has criticised NZR for their “poor” treatment of Foster.

Jones, who took over from former Australian coach Dave Rennie in January, described the announcement as “inappropriate.”

“I think it’s really poor how New Zealand Rugby have done it,” Jones said on his podcast Eddie.

“Ian Foster’s here now, he’s a good man and he’s given a lot to New Zealand Rugby as assistant coach and now head coach.

“I just think the timing’s inappropriate, leading into a World Cup, naming their coach beforehand just causes another distraction they don’t need.

“Maybe if they had their time again they’d handle it a little bit differently but… that seems to be the way of the world now.”


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