New Zealand rugby provide update on All Blacks manager Ian Foster’s future

New Zealand rugby chief Mark Robinson did not back coach Ian Foster over the long term at a press conference on Sunday but suggested a decision on his future would be made within a week.

Robinson told the media that a decision on Foster needed to be made in consultation with the New Zealand Rugby board and that it was premature to discuss his future now. He also suggested that it would be wrong to make a call with players and team management abroad.

His press conference will only bolster speculation that Foster, who steered the team to an emotional win at Ellis Park on Sunday, is a walking dead man.

“There’s a huge amount of passion and speculation out there, we appreciate that, we need time to address that,” Robinson said.

“We had conversations throughout this period with Foz. We think we know where we are, just working with him.

Robinson said the priority was “getting everyone home” from South Africa.

“Then we take stock, meet with management as soon as possible and debrief how the tour is going.”

The All Blacks bounced back from defeat in their first of two Tests in South Africa with victory in Johannesburg. It was reported before the tour that Foster would need to win at least one game to be safe, although it looks like that might not be enough.

“We’re proud of them, it was really a critical moment in the development of this team,” Robinson said of the performance.

“They’ve been through a lot. Winning in such adversity was really nice. Any aspect of that performance is considered to enter into this week’s discussions.

After the victory, Foster attacked the New Zealand media.

“The stress has been good for me, I’ve lost a pound in the last two weeks and maybe in the next week or two I could lose a little more,” Foster said.

“It’s part of the job. It’s been pretty vicious. There’s been a lot of onslaught, especially from our New Zealand media. They have high expectations of us and they’ve said that loud and clear. .

“They clearly came very strong against me as a person. Some of them even called our selections popgun, which I found quite insulting for players who give everything to play for their nation.

“This pressure has been strong. It doesn’t change the fact that adversity is the best teacher of character and we have remained close.

“We’ve lost three games in a row this year, and it hurts, but I think last week was our best performance of the year. We saw signs of our fighting spirit – we missed a beat at the breakdown but we grew through it. We are raising a few young boys and a few new combinations and that takes time.

“Some people don’t have patience and I understand that; I get the frustrations, but inside the camp it doesn’t mean much to us. What’s important is how we pull ourselves together, work hard and continue to grow.

Robinson said he was “really delighted for Ian”, but added that the review “is not about just one individual, we are looking at the whole performance environment”.

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