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Once the dust settles from the All Blacks’ 19-7 loss to England, attention will turn to finding a successor to the departing Steve Hansen – who despite failing to claim a third-straight World Cup triumph for the All Blacks, will go down as one of the best coaches in NZ sporting history.
The favourite to take over has been believed to be Hansen’s right hand man Ian Foster, but last night’s result may have put a dent in the All Blacks assistant coach’s hopes.
Here are the likely candidates to lead the All Blacks’ new era:
Brodie Retallick The top contenders
The hopes of the All Blacks’ attacking mastermind, who was praised by Hansen after their impressive victory over Ireland, probably took a hit after seeing his attack outwitted and outplayed by England’s suffocating defence.
Foster will still be considered one of the leading candidates to take over from Hansen after the tournament thanks to his deep ties to the team, its culture and his immense role in the All Blacks’ period of world dominance.
But the way the All Blacks’ attack was completely shut down by England’s defence, orchestrated by Foster’s old Waikato teammate and former All Blacks coach John Mitchell, may cause NZ Rugby to reassess their options.
With three Super Rugby titles in the past three years to his name and a bumbling break dancing career, he seems a perfect fit to step up to the head job in New Zealand.
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