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'Change is coming': Why the All Blacks 'can't afford' a 'total cleanout'

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images)

The New Zealand Rugby rumour mill has been in full swing for quite some time now, with many fans calling for radical change in the coaching ranks.


Head Coach Ian Foster came immense pressure during last year’s disastrous international campaign, which saw the All Blacks lose to Ireland and Argentina at home for the first time ever.

New Zealand’s uncharacteristically poor form spanned all the way back to their end-of-season tour in 2021, as they lost their final two test matches against the Irish and France.

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Including a loss to reigning World Cup champions South Africa at Mbombela Stadium, the men in black had lost five of their last six matches.

Considering the legacy of the All Blacks and the expectations that come with it, the team were heavily scrutinised ahead of their second test against the Springboks.

While a 35-23 point win over South Africa at Ellis Park alleviated some of this pressure, and saw the New Zealand Rugby Union stand by Foster, some supporters still wanted change.

As the year went on, and the All Blacks found their mojo once again with a seven test unbeaten run to end the year; yet calls for change continued to persist.


For these fans, they’re set to get their wish later this year.

As reported by New Zealand website Stuff, a New Zealand Rugby panel is set to appoint the new All Blacks coach for 2024 and beyond within the first half of the year.

It’s understood that Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and Japan coach Jamie Joseph are among the frontrunners for the position.

But this might not be a good thing ahead of this year’s World Cup.


Rugby World Cup winning fullback Israel Dagg has warned that the All Blacks “can’t afford” to have a “total cleanout.”

“Change is coming,” Dagg said on SENZ.

“Many of you have been demanding change in that All Blacks team for a while now, for a very, very long time, wanting it and well, change is about to come.

“Post the World Cup, the All Blacks will announce a new All Blacks regime and they will have a total cleanout.

“All signs are leading to a total cleanout and you can’t look (much) further than the Chiefs in 2011 when they had a total cleanout.

“They came last or neat last that year but then went on to have some very successful years with Dave Rennie.

“The All Blacks, I feel, can’t afford that. The sponsorship, the legacy of the man the All Blacks hold, but hey, change is change.”


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