'Sham of a process': New All Blacks coach divides opinion

The All Blacks have a new head coach but it doesn’t seem to be the one the majority of fans had hoped for.

Ian Foster has succeeded Steve Hansen as the man to take charge of the All Blacks, having acted as assistant for the past seven years.

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Foster has been with the All Blacks squad since 2012 and takes over the top job from Hansen, who stepped down after the World Cup in Japan, where New Zealand finished third.

He spent eight years at the Chiefs Super rugby franchise, amassing over 100 games as coach.

Former All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has been promoted to the top job. Pic: Getty

Foster said he was humbled to be selected as Head Coach.

“I feel truly privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity and I can’t wait to lead the team into the next chapter of what is a remarkable legacy,” he said.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the All Blacks over the last eight years and I’m excited and energised by a new coaching team who will join me.

“It’s incredibly humbling to be appointed to the job and I have a strong desire to serve the jersey well and represent New Zealand to the best of my ability.

Many All Blacks fans were quick to congratulate Foster on the appointment.

However, many felt that Crusaders coach Scott Robertson - whose side clinched their third straight Super Rugby title in 2019 - would have been a superior alternative.

Break-dancing Crusaders coach Scott Robertson seemed to be the fan favourite for the All Blacks job. Pic: Getty

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Chairman Brent Impey said Foster was appointed after impressing during a lengthy interview process.

“The NZR Board has today ratified Ian Foster as the new Head Coach of the All Blacks from 2020. He brings world-class international experience to the role, an incredibly strong coaching team, and we think he’ll do an outstanding job.”

Impey said Foster had been appointed for a two-year period and would be joined by four other coaches, whose names will be announced in due course.

“The interview process was extensive and really difficult, which reflects the very strong applications from both candidates,” Impey added.

“While we can’t confirm the full make-up of the coaching team today, we’re delighted with the quality they bring − they have a wide range of coaching experiences and are a diverse group of thinkers.

Despite working under Hansen during a period of unprecedented All Blacks' success, including winning the 2015 World Cup, Foster represents a controversial choice for many Kiwi rugby fans.

Critics point to an uninspiring eight-year spell in charge of the Waikato Chiefs, when their best result was a losing appearance in the 2009 final.

However, NZR are gambling that he can maintain the success achieved under Hansen and repeat the smooth transition his predecessor made from assistant to head coach.

With agencies