Wellington, Dec 19 (AFP/APP): Newly appointed New Zealand head coach Ian Foster unveiled the bulk of his coaching team on Thursday as he seeks to rebuild the three-time world champions after a disappointing World Cup.
Foster, a former All Blacks assistant coach who took over the top job from Steve Hansen earlier this month, named John Plumtree as forwards coach, Greg Feek as scrum coach and Scott McLeod as defence coach.
A backs coach is yet to be named, with reports in New Zealand linking Scarlets coach Brad Mooar to the role but the Welsh region want generous compensation if the Kiwi is to return home.
Like Foster, all of the assistants are on two-year contracts, which stop short of the 2023 World Cup in France.
“They’re all outstanding coaches in their own right,” Foster said.
“We’ll have new voices and fresh ideas in the All Blacks, which will be really stimulating for everyone, and help us grow as we enter a new era.”
Plumtree, 54, joins after guiding the Hurricanes to fourth place in the Super Rugby competition in his first season in charge.
His previous international experience consists of working as forwards coach with Ireland in 2013 and 2014, as well as a stint as Japan’s defence coach in 2017.
The franchise announced Plumtree’s assistant Jason Holland had been promoted to replace him at Sky Stadium.
Former All Blacks prop Feek, 44, was Ireland’s scrum coach from 2011 until this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, working with the team for 100 Tests during one of their most successful spells.
Former All Blacks centre McLeod, 46, was already part of the New Zealand set up under Hansen and retains his role as defence coach with Foster.
When he took the reins, Foster vowed to restore the All Blacks’ aura of invincibility, which was tarnished in a 19-7 semi-final loss to England at the World Cup.