Reports in New Zealand suggest that the All Blacks will retain under-pressure head coach Ian Foster for the upcoming Rugby Championship campaign, which starts with two fixtures against the Springboks in South Africa.
Ireland’s 32-22 triumph in Wellington sealed the first All Blacks home series defeat since 1994 and was New Zealand’s fourth loss in their past five Tests.
Foster’s record of eight defeats in 24 matches since succeeding Steve Hansen in 2020 has had pundits calling for him to be replaced with just 14 months until the Rugby World Cup kicks off in France.
Mark Robinson, chief executive of New Zealand Rugby, on Sunday called the Ireland defeats “not acceptable” and launched an immediate performance review.
However, according to the New Zealand Herald, Foster is expected to be retained for the two Tests against the Springboks, which start on 6 August.
The report says that a potential coaching cleanout would cost NZ Rugby well over $2-million and – with the All Blacks set to name an updated squad for the Rugby Championship in the coming days – there are fears that any sort of big change would destabilise the current group of players.
NZ Rugby will, though, expand Joe Schmidt’s analyst role to become “more influential”.
The Springboks host the All Blacks in the 102nd Test between the two nations in Mbombela, before the two sides move on to play at Ellis Park in Johannesburg a week later on 13 August. The previous clash came at the Gold Coast in Australia last year, where the Springboks snatched a 31-29 victory.
Photo: Joe Allison/Getty Images