New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has been given the full backing of his bosses to continue in his job, with former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt taking up a full-time assistant role.
Foster had found his position in the spotlight following three straight Test defeats, including losing a home series to Ireland.
However, following the 35-23 win over world champions South Africa in Johannesburg, the New Zealand Rugby Board endorsed Foster remaining in charge as preparations continue for next year’s World Cup.
During a meeting on Tuesday with NZR chief executive Mark Robinson and chair Stewart Mitchell as well as general manager of professional rugby Chris Lendrum, Foster also provided his own recommendations which have in turn been recommended to the board.
“(The board) have unanimously agreed they have absolute confidence that Ian and this coaching group are the right people to lead the All Blacks through until the World Cup,” Mitchell said.
“This has been privately and publicly validated by our players and various conversation with our high performance team.”
It has been agreed for Schmidt to become full-time assistant coach.
Foster added: “Joe Schmidt has been on my radar, probably for a couple of years. We flagged at the start of this year that his role was to join us after the Irish series as an independent selector to replace Grant Fox and in addition he was going to do some opposition analysis work and work alongside myself in the strategy area.
“We started that after the Irish series and delighted with how that’s going. I have a great relationship with Joe.”
New Zealand next face Argentina in their Rugby Championship showdown in Christchurch on August 27th.