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Ian Foster named as new All Blacks Assistant Coach

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allblacks.com     23 Dec 2011     Getty Images

Meanwhile, former Hurricanes Assistant Coach and NZRU resource coach Brian "Aussie" McLean will join the All Blacks coaching staff as Defence Coach, with a Skills Coach to also be added to the team.

Ian Foster coached the Chiefs in more than 100 Super Rugby matches from 2004 through to this year, and also co–coached the Junior All Blacks.

“This is a great honour to work with the All Blacks. I’m thankful for the faith that Steve Hansen and the Board have shown in me,” he said.

“I think the time I have had with the Chiefs and the Junior All Blacks has given me a taste of coaching at an international level, and this is a huge privilege for me as I look to fill Smithy’s (Wayne Smith) big shoes,” Foster added.

Fox, who played 46 Tests for the All Blacks from 1985 – 1993, will step down from his current position on the Blues franchise Board to take up the All Blacks Selector job.

He will join Hansen and Foster on the All Blacks selection panel which will select the All Blacks squads for each of their regular campaigns – the Steinlager Series June Tests, the renamed Investec Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri Nations) and the All Blacks’ Air New Zealand End of Year Tour.

“The chance to be involved with the All Blacks again – a team I care passionately about – was too good an opportunity to turn down and I was flattered when Steve called me and said he wanted me to be a selector,” Fox said.

Fox added he was “excited by the challenges” the All Blacks faced. “They climbed their Everest this year and now the aim will be to maintain that success. That’s going to be the exciting thing for me.”

Aussie McLean said: “This is a huge responsibility which I have been given and I’m honoured and humbled. I’m excited at what lies ahead and ready for the challenge.”

New All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen said he was delighted to be able to announce the new positions.

“Grant Fox is not only a legend of our game but also one of the most astute people. I wanted to find someone independent from the team who had the ability to break down a player’s game, analyse their strengths and weaknesses and bring a fresh viewpoint to the selection process, and he’s that man.”

In selecting his coaching staff, Hansen said he firstly looked at what the team’s needs were, the coaching expertise that was available, and those who could also complement his skillset.

“I then cross referenced that with coaches both here in New Zealand and overseas before finalising the coaching structure and personnel, which I believe is the best team to take the All Blacks forward.”

The Skills Coach for the All Blacks will be announced in the New Year.



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Biographies

All Blacks Assistant Coach Ian Foster was Chiefs coach from 2004 to 2011 taking the team to the Semifinals in his first year and the Final in 2009. He was also Co-Coach of the Junior All Blacks from 2005–2007, during which time the team won a two-Test Series against Australia A, the inaugural IRB Pacific Five Nations tournament and the expanded Pacific Nations Cup. He also co–coached an All Blacks trial team in 2005. A former player, Foster is the most–capped Waikato player (148 games) and also played 28 games for the Chiefs.

All Blacks Defence Coach Brian “Aussie” McLean is one of New Zealand’s most well–regarded coaches. He has had more than 20 years coaching experience from club to international level, most recently as Assistant Coach of Samoa at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He lead the New Zealand Under 19 team to five world championships, including three victories, won titles with Canterbury in 2001 and 2004, provided analysis and coaching for the Crusaders (1999 – 2000) and was Assistant Coach with the Hurricanes (2006 – 2008).

All Blacks Selector Grant Fox is an All Blacks legend. He played 189 matches for Auckland from 1982 – 1993 scoring 2,746 points, and 46 Tests for the All Blacks from 1985 – 1993. He was part of the 1987 Rugby World Cup–winning All Blacks side and finished his All Blacks career with a then record 645 points. He has remained prominent in rugby since his playing days: he runs ground signage company Carnegie Sports; has been on the coaching staff of Auckland and the Blues, as well as a Blues Board Member; and most recently was a highly–respected comments man on SKY Television.