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Ian Foster on who All Blacks would prefer to play in quarters

By Finn Morton
Ian Foster, Head Coach of New Zealand, looks on during the warm up prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between New Zealand and Uruguay at Parc Olympique on October 05, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

When asked about whether the All Blacks have a preference on who they play in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals, coach Ian Foster offered a simple reply after New Zealand’s 73-nil win over Uruguay.


“I think you know my answer to that, no,” the coach said with a steady smirk on his face, before pausing for a moment. The All Blacks have been written off by many rugby fans ahead of the knockout stage, but the players themselves “fancy” their chances.

New Zealand opened their World Cup campaign with a disappointing loss to hosts France. It was their first-ever loss during the pool stage in tournament history.

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But the All Blacks bounced back with three clinical victories to secure their spot in the knockout stage of the competition. New Zealand are quarterfinal-bound.

While the All Blacks have locked in their place, they’ll have to wait another couple of days to see whether they play Ireland, South Africa or Scotland in just over one week’s time.

“I don’t want to put myself under any stress in the next three days,” coach Foster said after the big win over Uruguay.

“What will be, will be, and people will theorise what they do. We will go away and have a nice glass of wine in our hotel tonight and celebrate being there. Looking forward to recovery tomorrow.


“Clearly we have a plan for whoever it may be. At this stage we are excited about us being there, it is our first goal achieved and let’s get into the next one.”

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By coach Foster’s own admission, the All Blacks will probably finish second in pool play for the first time. Les Bleus are in control of their own destiny and simply needs to beat Italy on Friday to lock in pole position.

The All Blacks would probably book a date with world No. 1 Ireland, barring a stunning upset loss to Six Nations rivals Scotland on Saturday evening.

“No, I think we will make the assumption we will finish second,” Foster added. “The Italy-France game is important now and it will be interesting to see how teams respond.


“The great thing about the draw from many perspectives is that first or second, we know when you have a draw and the top four in the world are due to play each other in a quarter-final, you know whatever happens it is going to be a monster game.

“Nothing is going to surprise us now and we will be ready for it.”


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ian 280 days ago

Foster should have blooded new players after 2019.I am a kiwi but the AB'S have too many has beens, taking players to the World Cup with injuries .WTF. Honestly I hope any Country except NZ ,SA,England WIN.

Cooper 281 days ago

No finlay Christie in QF

sean 281 days ago

Doesn’t matter who they play the ABs are going to make it to the final, who they play is to be determined by the second QF. Ireland are in for a rude awakening

ian 281 days ago


Kerry 282 days ago

Ian is a very cool likable dude - check out an Exclusive interview on Foster st The Front Row daily show on You Tube
I did exactly what he did last night had a glass of wine to celebrate our quarter final placing - we have 9 days to prepare and recover before we play next SA have the jump on France with 5 more days of prep and that could be very telling But I tell you what it cant be easy being in that SA squad with Erasmus bringing players in and out and getting his backs to buy into a 7 - 1 bench - there seems to be way to much meddling micro managing - how do they focus with him there and now only in SA theres a chance they may not play the quarter under their national flag or have their anthem played because theyre not up to speed with Wada document updates geez what a bloody mess - the hurdles these players have to jump through
NZ havent proven themselves with problem solving in presssure games they lost to France I wont count SA loss - NZ werent interested in that friendly - didnt want it - just a training run but a costly one with a ban and stalled momentum but they have it back in spades - we could have 3 world cup winners on the bench thats huge now do we select LF thats the big talking point on wing and at 12 with his pick and go approach operating as another forward as Nonu did and taking care of Bundee - I say we should but who gets the chop ? It has to be ALB doesmt it and I must say hes been playing well or do we drop Ioane completely thats a real possibility Start ALB then bring LF into 12 - we need 5 forwards Roigard will come on with Mckenzie so look out for their amazing synergy and high octane razzle dazzle
Do they have Cane on the bench does Papalli have the goods hes a lot faster - we need cohesion in the forwards to match Ireland and win the game with our backs so its Cane to start defense is key Papalli on the bench shame we cant find a spot for Blackadder or can we ?

Nigel 282 days ago

I’m pretty sure Foster and the AB's would opt for another RC type stiff training game against SA. They know exactly what they have to do against SA and with their backline on song (whoever gets selected) they will win easily. I can’t see it happening so Ireland it will be.

louthean 282 days ago

Play McKenzie and your be world champions

MattJH 282 days ago

Please be Ireland. That would be the hardest game and most epic victory.

Niall 282 days ago

I’m sure that the kiwi mouthpiece Delon will have the answers!! 😂

Phil 282 days ago

Scotland are a very good team but they simply don’t have the depth and skills to beat Ireland if they play adequately. I am hoping Scotland win and Ireland score 4 tries. That would be hilarious, albeit unlikely.

AB’s will beat SA the next time they meet them. Beat them when it counted in the RC but did not commit at the Twickenham festival game.

I was hoping for an Ireland-AB final but very unlikely. AB’s can beat them on a good day but they took SA apart and they have a better understanding of AB weaknesses and how to beat us than we do of them. What elements of a plan do you think we have?

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sean 9 minutes ago
The bite don't match the bark

Yeah, he has a few good points… I disagree that our 7s haven't done anything, we won Bronze in 2016, and we were virtually unplayable to the backend of the “teens” winning the series. 7s is far more competitive globally than Union, so it's fair to say we haven't dominated, but we are almost always contenders. But I do agree that our national side doesn't perform nearly as well as it should between World Cups, and I do agree that our supporters can be too passionate and the opitimity of what Rugby stands against. I have said so many times. And I also believe some context needs to be taken into account with Saturday's win for Ireland. They're a really good team! Settled coaching staff, and bar a few legends retiring, they've had a full season and plenty of time together. We have some youngsters being groomed for the future, have played only 3 games now under a new coaching team with new philosophies and game plans. I'm excited by what the future of this team holds, as much as I am disappointed by the result. But unlike this article suggests, I am never going to take away from what Ireland has achieved, is achieving, and where they're heading. As a Rugby fan, I love the tight games, like the last two weekends. As a Bok Super Fan, I agree we don't perform as well as we should. And as an aside, you come play a game at 7am on our fields, bud. -2°c and frost on the field that is as hard as concrete…. Then we’ll see just how tough you are. Well done Ireland! They played well, and gave our boys a lot to think about. That's what you want from the top two teams in the world. Rugby won. The fans of this greatbsport won. A'n bullshit like this article is why Rugby is losing its identity. I don't like soccer. This article perpetuates the soccer influences the game of Rugby is starting to see. It's why Wayne Barnes retired, feared for his family, and he isn't the only ref to say so. I have called out many Bok fans for being an embarrassment to the game, and I will continue to do so., this article is close to the same bullshit. You should be better.

32 Go to comments
Michael 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Cant deny Christie is a good defender, box kicks well at times, BUT he’s a second too slow passing from the ground. Roigard, Ratima and Hotham will be our 2027 halfbacks I believe DMAC has played reasonably well in both games, so deserves to keep his place - his two breaks at Eden Park should have resulted in tries. Reece was really to blame for the Taylor failure - he stayed too wide, if he had come in a couple of meters the pass from Taylor would have worked. The Perofeta failure was extraordinary, he is normally such a good distributor, failure to draw in Steward was remarkable, failure to look inside was a shocker. Cory Flynn as lineout coach… umm something a miss here. Not sure who is calling the lineouts, but clearly we miss Whitelock’s leadership. Having a disfunctional line out really underminded the AB attack. But let’s remind ourselves Itoje is a master, and their tactics of going for the arms of the jumper on landing and pulling over was brilliant causing Paddy and Scooter to both fumble the balls. I am a Blues supporter so I like Talea, but if you play him on the wrong wing look out. While he’s not the fastest wing, he’s elusive and very industrious always looking for work. However, he’s not the tallest player, and everyone knows his weakness (a) being turned in defence - he’s slow to turn and react and (b) never jumps for high balls is normally out jumped. Personally, I find Recce and Talea too alike - Razor needs to couple them with another complementary partner Clark and Narawa respectively. However, for me the real troubling challenge is our mid-field. I am sorry Barrett & Ioane are a poor combo - either Barrett & Proctor or ALB & Ioane - but having two mid-fielders who are poor distributors is nuts. Jordie had a forgettable game in truth he missed so many tackles, which to be fair is unlike him. But sadly both Barrett and Ioane chose to bash first and rarely distribute cleanly.

22 Go to comments
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