New Zealand Rugby fired two All Blacks coaches on Sunday and brought in Jason Ryan from the Crusaders in a widely expected shake-up following the historic series loss against Ireland.
While head coach Ian Foster has retained his job, forwards coach John Plumtree and attack coach Brad Mooar have been fired at the conclusion of “robust and in-depth conversations” about ways to improve performance, NZR said in a statement.
Ryan has served as the forwards coach for the champion Crusaders team for the past six years, in which they have won six Super Rugby titles, as well as being the Fiji forwards coach.
The All Blacks assemble in Wellington on Monday before travelling to South Africa for two Tests against the Springboks in the Republic on 6 August (Nelspruit) and 13 August (Johannesburg).
“Jason is a proven performer with plenty of experience at international level,” All Blacks coach Ian Foster said.
“Last year we witnessed first-hand the impact he has made on Fiji’s forwards, adding to his continual growth as the forwards coach of the Crusaders. His appointment now is clearly with an eye to the future and to [the Rugby World Cup] 2023.”
Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, now an All Blacks selector, has also taken on a key analysis role with the All Blacks and will work with Foster on overall strategy and attack play.
There was a huge outcry in New Zealand following the 2-1 series loss to Ireland, the first time they have lost a series to the Irish, with rugby pundits blaming poor coaching and a poorly constructed game plan, and calling for heads to roll.
“Right now, I am really feeling for two fine men who are great rugby coaches that made an enormous contribution to the All Blacks,” Foster said.
Foster appointed Plumtree and Mooar in 2019. Plumtree coached the Sharks for five seasons and served as Joe Schmidt’s forwards coach in Ireland while Mooar went from serving as an assistant at the Southern Kings to the Crusaders and was then bought out of his contract with Scarlets to join Foster at the All Blacks.
Foster was chosen ahead of Crusaders coaching guru Scott “Razor” Robertson to take over the All Blacks when Steve Hansen retired following the 2019 World Cup.
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