NZ Herald

The pre-Bledisloe Cup war is raging on with Australia continuing to fire shots at All Black coach Ian Foster ahead of today’s clash.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has ranked the Wallabies’ Kiwi coach Dave Rennie above his All Black counterpart Ian Foster, and says his New Zealand friends feel the same way.

This comes days after notorious Sydney radio host Alan Jones, one of Australia’s most famous coaches, predicted the New Zealand public could quickly turn on Foster, who he said was an unpopular choice.

McLennan wound up the pressure on Foster, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that “a lot of my Kiwi mates agree that we got the better coach”.

“When I look at the coaches, I think we got the better one,” he said.

“I’m really impressed with Dave. He’s settled the squad down and I think we’ve got the balance right.

“There’s a real buzz in Australia about the test…but there’s no doubt we’re massive underdogs against a formidable All Blacks side. This is the first step in a three-year journey.”

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Rennie and Foster are former Chiefs coaches. Rennie, the man who broke the Chiefs’ title drought, said he would like to have a beer with Foster after the second test in Auckland.

Both men will take charge of their sides for the first time in today’s test in Wellington, although Foster was a long time All Blacks assistant.

Foster’s image was badly hit by the All Blacks World Cup collapse against England. Rennie took himself out of the All Black race, honouring his commitment to Australia instead.

McLennan – who wasn’t in charge when the Kiwi was signed by Rugby Australia – is already touting Rennie as a long-term coach, beyond the next World Cup.

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This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and was republished with permission

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