Brodie Retallick Ian Foster succeeds Steve Hansen as All Blacks head coach

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WELLINGTON –Longtime assistant Ian Foster has been confirmed as All Blacks head coach to succeed Steve Hansen after an appointment process shunned by some candidates who saw it as flawed and untimely.

The 54-year-old Foster has been assistant coach since 2012, helping Hansen guide the team to its third World Cup title in 2015. Hansen stepped down after New Zealand’s third-place finish in this year’s World Cup in Japan, ending a seven-year tenure as head coach and a 15-year role in the wider All Blacks coaching team.

Foster’s initial appointment is for only two years, not through the 2023 World Cup as might have been expected, suggesting an almost probationary start to his head coaching career.

“I feel truly privileged and honored to be given this opportunity and I can’t wait to lead the team into the next chapter,” 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 energized by a new coaching team who will join me.”

New Zealand Rugby approached 26 coaches it saw as potential candidates when it began its search for Hansen’s replacement at the end of the World Cup last month.

Some leading candidates, including Dave Rennie, who has since been appointed as Australia head coach, and Japan coach Jamie Joseph, chose not to seek the All Blacks position because of the timing. Because New Zealand Rugby waited until Hansen left before beginning to consider his replacement, Rennie and Joseph opted for the security of jobs already offered to them.

Former Wales coach Warren Gatland, who will coach the Hamilton-based Chiefs in Super Rugby from next year, also chose not to apply because of his commitment to coach the

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