'To a person', players were full of praise for new All Blacks coach Foster, says NZ Rugby chairman

New All Blacks coach Ian Foster says it’s nice to have the support of the players, whose opinions were canvassed during the appointment process.

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NZ Rugby’s chairman said players were canvassed as part of the process of appointing an All Blacks coach. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey says players with a variety of experience, age and ethnicities were spoken to by the coaching panel.

“Both current and recent past players, senior players, those who have been in the environment, say, four years and those who have been in it over the last couple,” Impey said.

“We tried to get a range both in terms of their experience but in terms of their age and ethnicity.”

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The new All Blacks coach said he hadn’t spoken to any players after the World Cup, preferring to develop his own thought process. Source: 1 NEWS

Impey said there was praise for Foster from each player that was spoken to.

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“To a person, they were all very praiseworthy of Ian as a head coach. If there was a theme, it was that we’ve done well but need to have a new injection.”

Foster said he did not speak to the players following the World Cup, preferring to review the campaign and where the team was himself.

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The new All Blacks coach was open about the challenge of coming out from Steve Hansen’s shadow. Source: 1 NEWS

“It’s always nice to know that [the players are supportive],” Foster said.

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1 NEWS presenter Andrew Saville says today’s announcement wasn’t a huge surprise for anyone. Source: 1 NEWS

“I certainly didn’t canvas the players. I felt there were plenty of other people talking to them and I stayed away from that. I really developed my own thought process post-World Cup, 'cause it was important I was clear and really believed in a direction we wanted to go.

“The focus is similar to some of the player feedback so that is positive for me. It’s a great starting point.”