New Zealand Rugby have swung the axe on the All Blacks coaching staff as two of Ian Fosters senior coaching team have been shown the door.
Forwards coach John Plumtree and backs coach Brad Mooar are the two biggest causalities from the All-Blacks historic home series loss to Ireland.
In their place come Crusaders forwards coach Jason Ryan who takes over from Plumtree whilst former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will assist Foster with the backline.
The All Blacks were uncharacteristically inaccurate in the final two tests against Ireland as they appeared to struggle to come to grips with how the game is being officiated.
World Rugby has made it clear that they are looking to clamp down on foul play as they aim to make the game safer following several former players being diagnosed with serious life altering injuries.
Throughout the final two tests the All Blacks were heavily penalised for foul play with several cards being shown including a decisive red card in the second test.
Now staring down the barrel of a two test series against the World Champion Springboks in the Republic, the NZRU felt it necessary to make the changes.
Speaking about his former assistants, Foster said the following.
“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 in a statement released by NZR.
“I have no doubt both coaches will go on to great success and I want to thank them for their hard work.”
Ryan comes in as a highly rated coach following his exceptional work with both the Crusaders and Fiji. Despite his disappointment in seeing his two assistants relieved of their duties, Foster is excited about Ryan’s addition.
“Jason is a proven performer with plenty of experience at international level,” said Foster.
“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.”
Should things not go to plan for Foster and his charges in South Africa, there are rumblings that Schmidt could be the man to lead the All Blacks in France next year.