All BIacks head coach Ian Foster won’t gloat just yet despite shaking off Public Enemy No 1 tag to take New Zealand to the brink of rugby immortality at the World Cup
- New Zealand cruised into the finals after beating Argentina 44-6 in France
- All Blacks will face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final at Stade de France
- Head coach Ian Foster has every reason to gloat, though observedly does not
- Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results
Ian Foster has every reason to gloat after getting New Zealand to the World Cup final but pointedly does not.
Foster was public enemy No 1 in New Zealand rugby after presiding over a dismal All Blacks’ run of form, the worst in living memory.
Many New Zealand rugby fans pinned the blame on Foster after the All Blacks’ disastrous run of six defeats in eight Tests.
Dating back to the 2021 end-of-season tour, they had lost against France, Ireland, South Africa and Argentina.
But New Zealand Rugby publicly backed coach Foster through to the end of the Rugby World Cup, and that’s proven to be a masterstroke a week out from the final.
New Zealand qualified for the Rugby World Cup final in dominant fashion in Paris
Foster watched on as his All Blacks team dominated Argentina in Paris on Friday evening
New Zealand have grown into the tournament after a difficult start to the World Cup
The 2023 All Blacks, after crushing Argentina 44-6 in the first semi-final on Friday, are just 80 minutes away from rugby immortality.
Foster should be shouting from the rooftops, especially after recovering from the opening-night loss to France. But he insists ‘there’s not a personal agenda’ about the All Blacks’ World Cup run, even though New Zealand Rugby already confirmed that Scott Robertson will take over after the tournament.
‘You have to enjoy your work,’ he said. ‘It’s not like it’s a focus for us to go out there and have fun, but to make sure we execute our game to the level we need to.
‘The team takes a lot of pride when they do that. The work the players and leaders are doing is a real credit to them. As you go through tournaments, you have to enjoy it. There is a lot of pressure, so if you don’t celebrate moments, it is a long old time.
‘I am proud to be part of this group, the coaches are linking well with the players and there is a nice synergy about it. But you know, one more week’
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster (left) admitted he didn’t care who his side will play in the final
New Zealand are the first team in the final after thrashing Argentina in Friday’s semi-final
Argentina battled on but were undone against a ferocious All Blacks team in Paris
‘There’s not a personal agenda here, this is about the All Blacks and the team. Things have happened to individuals and to me, but the team comes first.’
Foster certainly looks like a man without a worry in the world and would have enjoyed last night’s slug-fest between England and South Africa. He said: ‘One thing the extra day does give us is a chance to have a break mentally and not to spend too much juice worrying about the game.’
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