In defence of Ian Foster

A guest post by a passionate rugby fan

Spare a thought for Ian Foster, the coach of the failing All Blacks team. He is under huge pressure after another dismal performance by his team over the weekend.

A lot of fans are blaming Foster for what has happened to the All Blacks this season. He has never been a popular coach, and the calls for him to be sacked are becoming deafening. But let’s slow down a bit. Foster’s doing the best he can. He needs to be given a chance.

It is easy enough to criticise the man’s coaching record, and to be fair it looks pretty dismal at first glance. Where does one begin? How about losing three consecutive home tests? It’s never been done before. Or losing to Argentina at home for the first time? In fact, until Foster took over the team, Argentina had never beaten the All Blacks, ever. Now they have beaten the ABs twice. Or how about Ireland’s historic victory in the recent test series?

But the results don’t tell the full story. They ignore the real progress that has been made this season. If Foster is dumped now, there’s a real risk that all those gains will be lost. A new coach would want to change things, bring in new systems and new players. And sure, those things might work in the short term. But what would be lost?

And can we all just give the captain Sam Cane a break? Cane is absolutely the right man to lead this team. I can’t believe anyone would question his commitment or ability.

The New Zealand public need to lay off Foster and Cane. Both should go to the World Cup. Dumping them now, after all the progress they have made, would be a terrible mistake.

But if they have to go, then for the sake of all human decency can they at least be allowed to finish the international season in charge? There is an upcoming tour of the Northern Hemisphere, with games against England, Wales and Scotland. Please, don’t get rid of them just yet.

Thank you

A Scottish rugby supporter