England head coach Eddie Jones has thrown his support behind All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster to become New Zealand’s next head coach.
Foster is seemingly in a two-horse race with Crusaders boss Scott Robertson to become Steve Hansen’s successor as head coach of the All Blacks, who stepped down from the position following his side’s World Cup semi-final exit in Japan last month.
Foster had been part of Hansen’s coaching staff since the latter took over from Sir Graham Henry in 2012, and assisted the All Blacks to their third World Cup title in the United Kingdom four years ago.
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However, his side were out-thought and out-muscled when they faced England in the semi-finals this year, with Hansen’s side barely firing a shot as they went down 19-7 to Jones’ team at the Yokohama International Stadium.
Nevertheless, Jones believe that Foster’s contribution to the All Blacks set-up since first coming into the national side seven years ago warrants serious consideration as the fight to become the next boss of rugby’s most successful international team heats up.
“They made the semi-final and got beaten by a better team on the day,” the Australian-born 59-year-old told SNTV.
“You look at their record over the years with ‘Fozzy’ as an assistant coach, it’s pretty impressive.
“There’s no other team in the world that’s won… whether it was 88 percent or 87 percent. No other team in the world wins at that [percentage].
“Although the semi-final was disappointing for them, Ian’s done a great job as an assistant coach and I would think he’d be a very good chance to be the next head coach.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 28, 2019
Jones also reserved praise for New Zealand-born Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie, who was recently announced as Michael Cheika’s replacement at the Wallabies.
Plenty of onlookers were adamant that Jones should have been made the new Australia boss following the Wallabies’ World Cup quarter-final departure after being thumped 40-16 by England in Oita.
Jones coached the Wallabies between 2001 and 2005, but is tied down with England until 2021, making a return to his homeland implausible.
However, he believed Australia have found the right man to take them through to the 2023 World Cup in France.
“Outstanding. He’s a very good coach, good man and good rugby man,” he said on SNTV.
“Very good tactically, good at bringing people together and I think he’ll resurrect Australian rugby.”
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