Former England international Ben Kay has labelled the All Blacks head coaching role as a ‘poisoned chalice’.
The All Blacks’ new head coach will be announced on 12 December, after long-serving coach Steve Hansen vacated the position at the end of the recently concluded World Cup in Japan.
Warren Gatland, Jamie Joseph, Tony Brown and Dave Rennie declined to apply for the vacancy after being invited by New Zealand Rugby to do so. It is now universally believed that current assistant coach Ian Foster and Crusaders boss Scott Robertson are the front-runners to take over from Hansen.
In his column for The Times of London, Kay wrote that the rejection of what should be one of the ‘most sought-after jobs’ indicates the unappealing challenge of the role.
‘There are parallels between Steve Hansen’s departure from the All Blacks after 15 years as an assistant and head coach and the time Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United. Taking over from Hansen after more than a decade of unparalleled All Blacks dominance is a poisoned chalice.
‘The squad Ferguson left behind at Old Trafford was nowhere near as strong as it had been and things began to spiral as successive managers tried and failed to rebuild the team. The same challenge awaits Hansen’s successor. New Zealand are still a fine team but they are not as strong as they were four years ago.’
He also added Roberson’s unorthodox approach should see him get the job, because ‘Foster is unable to evolve’.
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