Foster was always a punchline
As we have some more overseas posters and readers at the moment, it’s important for them to know just how lowly Foster is rated in NZ. During his time in charge of the Chiefs there was a running joke about him getting the AB head coach role, as it would be such an outrageous choice given how poor he is. Another coach that was mentioned in this running joke was Mark Hammett who made an absolute mess of the Hurricanes during his time there.
Then he got given an assistant coach role for the ABs, a baffling promotion given his record to date. That running joke actually continued even after this - “imagine if he got promoted to head coach!”.
Then after we got bundled out of the 2019 RWC, NZR not only decided to go for continuity by selecting a new head coach from within the existing coaching group, they chose the guy that was so bad as a head coach he was a running joke to a lot of NZ rugby fans.
Everyone at the time was stunned, and the way the ABs are playing now is absolutely no surprise. We knew we were in for a rough few years, but that doesn’t make it any easier to take.
The only defence of Foster has been “maybe he’s improved since his disastrous stint with the Chiefs”. But there was no evidence to suggest he had, because he hadn’t been a head coach since then! If he had improved then he should have taken a SR team again and demonstrated that.
Giving him the reins for the ABs was probably the worst decision I’ve ever seen a professional sporting organisation make, and the ABs aren’t just any organisation, they are historically the most successful sports team on the planet.
The damage this is doing to the AB brand in the professional era can’t really be overstated. We are still blessed with incredibly talented players, but without a top class coach we are becoming easy beats to the other Tier 1 teams who play with actual structure.
It’s depressing times for us AB fans.