ian foster

All Blacks roll out big guns for 100th test against Springboks

There are several changes to the starting XV from last week's win over Argentina.

Joe Moody stays on one side of the scrum for Saturday night's match in Townsville, while Nepo Laulala is back in the number three jersey, replacing Tyrel Lomax who drops out of the matchday 23.

Codie Taylor returns at starting hooker, with Samisoni Taukei'aho on the bench alongside props Karl Tu'inukuafe and Ofa Tuungafasi.

Brodie Retallick returns at lock alongside Scott Barrett, with Patrick Tuipulotu moving to the reserves.

Foster reappointed as All Blacks coach

Foster took over from Steve Hansen after the 2019 World Cup.

In this time in charge the All Blacks have won the Bledisloe Cup twice, as well as last year's Rugby Tri-Nations.

He has also welcomed 13 new All Blacks into the fold.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said Foster could now plan for next year and beyond with certainty.

Ian Foster must assess midfield options after Jack Goodhue's injury

He can’t say he doesn’t know what’s coming. It’s inevitable that fit young players who march to work each weekend will return with cracked bones, torn tendons and concussions.

From there it’s a matter of determining how long it will take to patch them up. Crusaders centre Jack Goodhue, whose demeanour and defence have been an asset to the All Blacks midfield since 2018, won’t play again this year.

Neither will talented Highlanders halfback Folau Fakatava. He, like Goodhue, has a serious knee injury and his hopes of making his All Blacks debut in 2021 have evaporated.

Ian Foster reveals All Blacks plans while fixtures remain uncertain

Through the near-constant postponements and schedule alternations Foster has been forced to patiently wait, and then wait some more, but Sunday marked the official start of his All Blacks tenure, with the naming of a 35-man squad at New Zealand Rugby headquarters that included seven new caps and an abundance of attacking flair.

The Herald understands a Sanzaar meeting on Thursday will finally set in place the test schedule for the remainder of the year, with an official announcement due on Friday.

All Blacks coach gets what he wants

Not much roving, however, was required for the All Blacks new head coach to pinpoint who he wanted.

As widely signalled, the appointment of the Hurricanes' John Plumtree, former All Blacks prop Greek Feek and incumbent defence coach Scott McLeod was confirmed.

Former Crusaders assistant Brad Mooar is expected to complete the coaching team, with New Zealand Rugby locked in negotiations for his release from Welsh Club Scarlets.

Foster said he decided on the trio he could confirm thus far using two clear criteria.

Foster faces challenges Hansen never had

Hansen was also an assistant to his predecessor, Graham Henry, but Foster comes into the job in very different circumstances.

The team Hansen took over had just ended New Zealand's long wait for a second World Cup triumph and boasted the talents of all-time greats Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu and Jerome Kaino.

That core group stayed on to keep the All Blacks top of the world rankings and won the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time in 2015 before all but Kaino ended their international careers.

Ian Foster named new All Blacks coach

Foster and Crusaders coach Scott Robertson were the two candidates interviewed for the role and Robertson's lack of international coaching experience appears to have counted against him.

Foster's lack of success with the Chiefs in Super Rugby had raised questions of whether he's the right person for the job, but New Zealand Rugby (NZR) believe they've made the right choice.

Foster, 54, has been given a two year contract by NZR, rather than a four year deal through to the next world cup in France.