Rugby-Foster joins former All Blacks boss Hansen at Toyota Verblitz


  • Rugby
  • Tuesday, 16 Apr 2024

Rugby Union - World Rugby Awards - Opera Garnier, Paris, France - October 29, 2023 New Zealand head coach Ian Foster is pictured ahead of the World Rugby Awards REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

(Reuters) - Former New Zealand boss Ian Foster has been appointed coach of Japanese side Toyota Verblitz six months after taking the All Blacks to the World Cup final.

Foster, who was replaced by Scott Robertson after the tournament in France, will take the reins of League One club Verblitz for the 2024/25 season and link up with his old boss Steve Hansen.

Hansen had Foster as an assistant coach during his eight years in charge of the All Blacks and is now director of rugby at Verblitz.

"Of course, I look forward to connecting with Steve again and working with him," Foster, who succeeded Hansen as All Blacks coach in 2019, said in a club statement on Tuesday.

"We have always worked together and accomplished many great things together."

Foster will also link up with long-time All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith, who joined Verblitz on a multi-year deal after the World Cup.

Verblitz announced on Tuesday they had recruited New Zealand rugby league international Joey Manu, luring the twice National Rugby League championship winner from the Sydney Roosters.

"I look forward to returning to rugby union and competing in the prestigious Japan Rugby League One competition," the 27-year-old said in a statement.

"While I know the transition won’t be easy, I will embrace the challenge."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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