Ian Foster (rugby union)

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Ian Foster
Richie McCaw signing autograph next to Webb Ellis Cup and Ian Foster (2015 RWC All Blacks victory parade in Wellington).jpg
Ian Foster (R) with Richie McCaw during the 2015 Rugby World Cup victory parade.
Date of birth (1965-05-01) 1 May 1965 (age 57)
Place of birth Putāruru, New Zealand
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight92 kg (203 lb)
School Taieri High School
Forest View High School
SpouseLeigh Foster [1]
Occupation(s)Rugby union coach
Rugby union career
Position(s) First five-eight
Amateur team(s)
Te Awamutu Sports ()
Provincial / State sides
1985–1998 Waikato 148 322
Super Rugby
1996–1998 Chiefs 28 167
Teams coached
Junior All Blacks (Co-Coach)
New Zealand (Assistant Coach)
New Zealand

Ian Foster is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks.


He was previously an assistant coach of the All Blacks from 2012 to 2015, a period in which the team won the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Playing career

During Foster's playing career he made 148 appearances for Waikato, a union record. He also played 28 games for the Chiefs. [2] [3]

Foster also played for the NZRFU President’s XV in 1995.

Coaching career


Foster was the Head Coach of Waikato for 2002 and 2003. In 2002, Waikato finished first after the round robin stage with eight wins from nine games, but ultimately lost the final to Auckland 28-40. [4]

In the 2003 season Waikato were second behind Otago after the round robin standings with six wins from nine games. They then lost their home semi-final 29-30 to Wellington. [5]

Overall, Foster's coaching record with Waikato was 15 wins from 21 games.


In 2004, Foster took over as head coach of the Waikato-based Super Rugby team the Chiefs, with the following results:

Under Foster's coaching, the Chiefs made the Super Rugby finals in 2004 and the final in 2009 and had a 50% win ratio. [6]

All Blacks

In 2011, Foster became an assistant coach and selector for the All Blacks under newly-appointed head coach Steve Hansen, [7] a position which he held until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup. During his time as assistant coach, the All Blacks won 93 of 108 tests (losing in just ten), [8] and won the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

In December 2019, Foster was named the new head coach of the All Blacks, replacing Hansen, [9] alongside assistants John Plumtree, Greg Feek, and Scott McLeod. [10] He also announced Sam Cane as the new All Blacks captain. [11]

In November 2020, Argentina beat the All Blacks for the first time. [12]

In 2022, Foster came under increasing pressure after the All Blacks were defeated in a test series for the first time by Ireland, as well as a loss to South Africa. [13] Prior to leaving for South Africa for the Mbombela test, Foster's assistants Plumtree and Brad Mooar were sacked and replaced by Jason Ryan, with Foster taking on the backs coaching role and former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt joining as an advisor. [14] After a review, and support from many of the All Blacks squad, [15] New Zealand Rugby opted to back Foster until the 2023 World Cup. [16] Two weeks later, the All Blacks lost to Argentina in Christchurch, the first time Argentina had defeated the All Blacks in New Zealand. [17]

Coaching statistics

New Zealand

International matches as head coach

Note: World Rankings Column shows the World Ranking New Zealand was placed at on the following Monday after each of their matches

Record by country

OpponentPlayedWonDrewLostWin %Pts ForAgainst
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 6402066.6718166
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 9711077.78315171
Flag of England.svg  England 1010000.002525
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 2200100.0011736
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 4103025.0096103
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1100100.00479
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1100100.003831
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 4202050.009397
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 1100100.001020
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1100100.0010414
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 2200100.0010939
Flag of France.svg  France 1001000.002540
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 1100100.003123


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  1. "Rugby: Ian Foster reveals wife's hilarious reaction to All Blacks coach announcement". New Zealand Herald. 12 December 2019.
  2. Ian Foster named All Blacks assistant coach Stuff.co.nz, 23 December 2011
  3. Foster new All Black assistant coach NZ Herald, 23 December 2011
  4. "2002 NPC".
  5. "2003 NPC".
  6. RugbyPass 12 December 2019
  7. RNZ News 16 April 2011
  8. "Rugby: 10 things to know about new All Blacks coach Ian Foster". NZ Herald. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  9. "Ian Foster named Steve Hansen's successor as All Blacks head coach". Guardian. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  10. "FOSTER CONFIRMS BULK OF COACHING TEAM". allblacks.com. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  11. "SAM CANE NAMED ALL BLACKS CAPTAIN". allblacks.com. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  12. "Argentina beat All Blacks for first time". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  13. "'I'm ashamed': Former All Black speaks out on 'disturbing' Foster comments".
  14. Napier, Liam (24 July 2022). "'I'm feeling for two fine men': All Blacks axe Brad Mooar, John Plumtree, add Jason Ryan". NZ Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  15. Powell, Alex (16 August 2022). "Rugby: All Blacks coach Ian Foster finds support, empathy from Black Ferns counterpart Wayne Smith". Newshub. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  16. "Ian Foster retained as All Blacks coach". ESPN Scrum. ESPN. 17 August 2022. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  17. "Argentina stun New Zealand with historic Rugby Championship victory". The Guardian. 27 August 2022. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
Sporting positions
Preceded by All Blacks coach