All Blacks tracking well towards 2023 World Cup - Fitzpatrick

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Fitzpatrick said during a press conference he felt Foster was on the right track.


"I think he knows where he's going, that's for sure. We're 18 months out from the World Cup, and traditionally, we [New Zealand] haven't worked in four-year cycles.


"Every year we try to pick the best team to win the [Rugby] Championship, or whatever tour we're on," Fitzpatrick said.


"We're disappointed that Super Rugby is not turning out like it should be, in terms of the competition that that's going to bring. We will probably have a clearer idea in the summer when we play an in-form Irish team in a series."


New Zealand, who lost to Ireland in Dublin in November, will play Ireland in three Tests in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington.


Fitzpatrick said Ireland and Wales were 'ahead of the game' in the Six Nations while he liked the way France was playing, and they seemed to have 'a culture of success.'


"They seem to be playing for each other which is great, and they're young, which is a key ingredient.


"If you look at who won the World Cup in the past, they have a degree of youth, a degree of experience, but they have depth in their numbers. If I mention Ireland and France, they've got all that going for them," he said.


Fitzpatrick said there was a lot of interest in New Zealand around this year's Six Nations, and he said that was the result of the All Blacks losing to France and Ireland in November.


"There is a lot of anticipation in terms of what's going to happen in the next 12 months. Everybody is interested in watching the rugby coming out of Europe at the moment.


"The feeling is that the quality of rugby is a lot better than in the past, and that is a reflection on what we are seeing in the Six Nations.


"We realise we have a bit of work to do to catch up, and the situation with the Super Rugby situation, and with Covid, is not helping us in terms of developing our young talent to be ready to play the Irish in the summer, let alone the World Cup in 18 months' time," he said.



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