Cape Town - All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has
extended his contract with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) through to 2017, NZR Chief
Executive Steve Tew announced on Tuesday.
Foster has been assistant coach alongside head coach Steve
Hansen since 2012.
"It's been an honour and a privilege to have worked for
the All Blacks over the last few years and to help the team achieve its goals,
including winning the Rugby World Cup, and I look forward to getting stuck into
next season after the summer break," Foster told the All Blacks’ official
Tew paid tribute to Foster's work with the national team,
which has fashioned a stunning record of 49 wins, two draws and just three
losses, in their 54 Tests since 2012.
"Ian has provided outstanding coaching of the All
Blacks over the last four years. He has a calm yet forthright style which works
well in the team and his strategic thinking and development of the All Blacks'
back play, which is his specialist area, has been exceptional. We look forward
to his ongoing contribution over the next two years."
Tew also confirmed that All Blacks forwards coach Mike Cron
had also re-signed with NZR through until 2017.
"Cronno has coached not only the All Blacks forwards,
but many young forwards with distinction for many years now and he is widely
recognised as one of the world's best coaches. We are incredibly fortunate to
have him continue with the All Blacks."
Cron commented: "I'm really enjoying the environment
and the next couple of years will be an exciting challenge for the coaching
team as we look to identify talent and help develop them into world-class rugby
Head coach Steve Hansen added: "It's great news for New
Zealand Rugby and myself to have these two world-leading coaches sign back on
with the All Blacks. They have both played a major part in making this team what
it is. They understand the culture and what's required in the Test arena to
make a team successful, and will be vital in making sure that we continue to
grow our game in the years ahead."
Tew said the bulk of the All Blacks management team had also
recommitted to the national side. Meanwhile, defence coach Wayne Smith has
indicated he will take a year off from full-time rugby coaching, while All
Blacks performance analyst Alistair Rogers is taking up an assistant coaching
role with the Blues.
Tew added that with a number of senior players leaving the
All Blacks following the successful 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign, the All
Blacks management would provide crucial guidance, with a number of new players
expected in the All Blacks next year.
The All Blacks have a busy Test schedule in 2016, with Wales
coming to New Zealand in June for a three-Test series followed by the annual
Rugby Championship and the end-of-year Tour to Europe. Then in 2017 the
highlight will be the tour by the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand, which
will include three Tests against the All Blacks.