All Blacks coach Foster extends deal until end of 2023 Rugby World Cup

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All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has signed a contract extension through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) made the announcement on Tuesday after Foster replaced Steve Hansen on a two-year deal beginning in 2020.

The All Blacks – who retained the Bledisloe Cup and claimed the Tri-Nations last year – won just three of their 2020 Tests, with a draw and loss to rivals Australia, and an historic defeat to Argentina in Sydney.

Foster’s New Zealand are flawless in 2021, including a 102-0 demolition of Tonga, having defended the Bledisloe Cup again versus the Wallabies.

“Firstly, I want to acknowledge the board and NZR for the faith they have shown in reappointing me,” Foster said. “It’s a privilege to be part of the All Blacks and I don’t take that for granted.

“It’s clearly been a challenging couple of years with Covid-19, but I’ve been hugely proud of the resilience shown by the team. I’m personally driven to have our team continue to succeed as we build to Rugby World Cup 2023.

“What is equally important to me is the fact that I’m just one part of an outstanding coaching and management team and to continue working with them is a privilege and inspires me to be the best head coach I can be.

“We have the immediate challenge of this year’s Fortinet Rugby Championship and then the tour North, but 2022 and 2023 will bring their own challenges. I’m really excited to be leading the team into the future and can’t wait to get stuck into our work.”

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NZR CEO Mark Robinson added: “Ian has faced extraordinary times since he was first appointed, with the uncertainty of Covid-19 and the numerous challenges it has thrown up, and he’s shown remarkable composure and resolve to lead incredibly well through it all.

“Foz has built an outstanding culture and environment in the team with an inclusive and collaborative approach and maintained a steady, clear focus on our goal of being Number one in the world again.

“There is no doubt Foz and his team are performing extremely well in trying conditions and we are pleased to send a strong signal of support to create certainty in our environment and allow the management team and player group to plan for the future.

“On behalf of NZR and the board, I want to congratulate Foz and his team and wish them all the best for the rest of this season and beyond.”

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