New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson has given his backing to under-fire All Blacks coach Ian Foster ahead of his team’s two-test series with world champions South Africa next week.
Foster’s position at the helm of the All Blacks has come under intense scrutiny since a 2-1 series loss against Ireland this month, but Robinson said the 57-year-old remains the right man for the job.
“As we’ve signalled he’s certainly the person to lead the team to South Africa and we’re making sure that we’ve got everything possible in the way of resourcing and support to make sure that’s successful,” Robinson told Newstalk ZB.
The All Blacks face the South Africans on August 6 in the first test in Mbombela, which doubles up as New Zealand’s opening match in this year’s Rugby Championship.
Foster’s team go into the competition having lost four of their last five matches and with further questions certain to be asked if the All Blacks lose in South Africa.
The All Blacks have undergone a backroom shake up, with assistant coaches John Plumtree and Brad Mooar fired last week and Jason Ryan leaving the Canterbury Crusaders to take over as defence coach.
“I’m not going to speculate on things like that,” Robinson said when asked about Foster’s future should the All Blacks lose in South Africa.
“We’re really focussed and have spent time in the last 10 days primarily around focussing on our people internally when the sorts of things that have been going on with the speculation, and then making sure the team and then the management team have what they need to succeed.”