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'Name the new coach or don't': Ex-All Black captain blasts handling of Foster situation

By Ben Smith
Assistant Coach Ian Foster (L) speaks alongside Kieran Read (L) and Liam Messam (R) following a New Zealand All Blacks Captain's Run at St James Park on October 8, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Ex-All Black captain Kieran Read has weighed in on the All Blacks coaching job drama between Ian Foster and Scott Robertson.


Foster publicly came out last week to defend his position and openly shared his view with the media that he thinks it is ‘highly unlikely’ that he will be the coach in 2024.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson told Newstalk ZB he ‘learnt his lesson’ after speaking too soon about a potential appointment as All Blacks coach.

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Former captain Read, who was coached by both men within the All Blacks and at the Crusaders during his career, joined Sky Sport NZ’s The Breakdown and said the whole thing has been handled poorly from his perspective.

“It is interesting to see, the whole thing hasn’t been handled well,” Read said.

“New Zealand Rugby, really all this stuff, should be happening behind closed doors.

“It shouldn’t be aired what both coaches are saying, what everyone is talking about but hopefully we get to the bottom of it and through it soon.”


There have been worries that the saga would derail the All Blacks World Cup campaign but the double World Cup winner from 2011 and 2015 said that these fears are overblown.

Read went as far as saying the players ‘won’t care’ as long as the right approach is taken.

He called on New Zealand Rugby to take a hard line approach and go out and name someone or don’t, without fluffing around having the episode dragged out through the media.

“Players don’t want distractions but from an honest players’ perspective, I think they won’t mind,” he shared.


“They won’t care what happens, as long as it gets done in the right way.

“I think the way it has been dealt with at the moment, there are distractions everywhere.

“Just go in and name the new coach or don’t, it is as simple as that.

“For the players, it is not going to derail them if they name the All Black coach next week.”

After winning a sixth straight title last year, Robertson is still the head coach of the Crusaders and opened the season with a shock 31-10 loss at home to the Chiefs.

On whether the All Blacks coaching drama has been a distraction for the Crusaders leading to the loss, Read didn’t think so.

The four time Super Rugby champion did however throw his support in behind Robertson as the next All Blacks coach.

“I don’t think so, no,” Read said.

“Razor is Razor. I think he is in that position where, I don’t know the communication between both parties or what.

“From my point of view, I think Razor is the next All Blacks coach. You know, it’s probably what should be happening after the World Cup.

“But it’s like, okay, how best we get there.

“I think if we are going to do it and look after the best coaches in the country, which Razor certainly is, you name him and move on.

“Everyone can just focus on supporting Fozzy. Because that’s what we need to do for this year, is get in behind him.

“The way New Zealand Rugby are just letting things hang at the moment, Fozzy probably doesn’t feel like there is much support for him.”


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