Continuity and refreshment achieved with Foster choice - Impey

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In making the announcement of the new coach, Impey said Ian Foster stepped up from his assistant coaching role to that of head coach while Mark Robinson would start the new year as chief executive in place of Steve Tew.


It was an exciting time as they entered a new era, he said.


"We've had a long era of stability with Steve Hansen, Steve Tew and we go back before that with Graham Henry but now we've got change and refreshment in terms of a new CEO in Mark Robinson and a new head coach in Ian Foster.


"And that's the way we're approaching it, keep the legacy but refresh at the same time because this is a dynamic situation," Impey said.


Foster said it had been 'a pretty interesting three or four weeks' since the World Cup.


"There's been a lot of the questions, it's been quite demanding and to come out the other side and get a vote of confidence is fantastic and I really value that," he said.


Foster acknowledged his rival for the role Crusaders coach Scott Robertson. He was an outstanding man and he would be really disappointed. He had a massive amount to contribute and Foster said he was thinking of him at the moment.


"For me it's been eight years in this black jersey and I've learnt a lot, experienced a lot and the ability to be able to take that forward and to add my own flavour to it, to actually be able take some ideas about the core stuff that we are doing and we're doing well, but also to add a new list of some things.


"We obviously need to grow, we need to tweak. We didn't get what we wanted in the last World Cup losing that semi final. There's a massive opportunity for us now to go on and rethink some things, to take the good out of it and to go forward with an open mind about where this team goes.



"I can't wait for that, I'm really, really excited about that," he said.


Foster said he was also excited about his coaching group and couldn't wait to tell everyone about that.


"I've got guys that are willing to challenge and some fresh voices in there that are going to really help us look at the game and look at what we're doing and add a lot of spice to it. That part of it is pretty special to me," he said.


Foster said he had a job ahead to reinvent himself with the public and the media.


After eight years as an assistant coach in which his job was to try and be the best assistant coach the All Blacks needed and he had complemented Steve Hansen's style.


"Now it's time for you to see me in a new light and it's up to me to show you that I'm innovative, I've got a sense of direction about where I want this team to go and extremely passionate about adding a new touch to it and to really grow and get some mana back on the field which we felt we've lost a little bit," he said.


Robinson said the selection process had been exciting and demanding and they had been fortunate to have high quality contenders.


Foster was an extremely high quality person with a high value set.


"He has a deep love of the game at all levels and especially this All Blacks team. He has an intimate knowledge of the inner workings but he has also displayed through this process a willingness to inject, I guess, a fresh approach to what this team bring in terms of performance in the near future," Robinson said.


Foster had an outstanding understanding of the game and was very switched on.


A critical component in his selection had been 'an extremely high-calibre team' of assistant coaches with overseas and international coaching experience with a combination of youth and experience that added to the refreshing of the team environment.


Those people would be named in the future, he said.



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