Ian Foster backed as All Blacks coach, with Joe Schmidt named as assistant

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Ian Foster, alongside NZR chair Stewart Mitchell and chief executive Mark Robinson fronted the media at a press conference in Auckland on Wednesday. 


On Tuesday, Robinson and NZR general manager of professional rugby Chris Lendrum met with Foster to finalise conversations around where things sat after the first five All Blacks Tests of the year. 


Mitchell said Foster provided management with his own recommendations and these have in turn been recommended to the board.


"[The board] have unanimously agreed they have absolute confidence that Ian and this coaching group are the right people to lead the All Blacks through until the World Cup. This has been privately and publicly validated by our players and various conversation with our high performance team."



A recommendation that was agreed upon was for Joe Schmidt to be elevated to full time Assistant coach. 


"Joe Schmidt has been on my radar, probably for a couple of years," said Foster.


"We flagged at the start of this year that his role was to join us after the Irish series as an independent selector to replace Grant Fox and in addition he was going to do some opposition analysis work and work alongside myself in the strategy area.


"We started that after the Irish series and delighted with how that's going. I have a great relationship with Joe."


The All Blacks assemble in Christchurch on Sunday ahead of next weekend's Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship clash with Argentina at Orangetheory Stadium.



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