Coach Ian Foster came under pressure from the New Zealand media when the All Blacks lost two consecutive matches in November. As the Kiwis had their poorest season since 2009. Never mind that the team had a respectable 12 wins and three losses in 2021. Compared to Graham Henry’s 2009 team, which had 14 victories and four losses. Three of which were to Peter de Villiers’ Springboks. Rugby Fans can buy RWC 2023 Tickets from our website.
The manner of the losses against Ireland (29-20) and France (40-25) stings the most, with Foster’s selection and game plan under fire. One of the most heated issues is whether Beauden Barrett or Richie Mo’unga should be the starting flyhalf. With Jordie Barrett also appearing to be the starting fullback.
The forwards also lost the physical struggle against the Irish and the French, and the make-up of the loose trio, centers, and back-three combinations are all in question. Former captain Sean Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, believes Foster is on the right route for the Rugby World Cup 2023. Where New Zealand will seek to reclaim their crown after the Boks won the 2019 event in Japan.
I believe he (Foster) understands exactly where he’s heading. We’re 18 months out from the Rugby World Cup, and we’ve never operated in four-year cycles before. Fitzpatrick claimed last week during an online news conference for the Laureus World Sports Awards. Where he is chairman of the Laureus Academy that every year we strive to pick the best team to win the (Rugby) Championship, or whatever tour we’re on.
Rugby World Cup
We’re putting together a Rugby World Cup team right now. In terms of what the All Black supporters expect. We had a tremendously bad year last year, losing three games.
But, in the end, we exposed a lot of young players to international rugby, and I think we got a little bit exposed in the white heat of battle in 2019 when we lost to the English. Some of those guys had never experienced anything like the Rugby World Cup’s intensity level. As a result, I’m quite relaxed.
We’re frustrated that Super Rugby isn’t shaping out the way it should be in terms of the competitiveness it will offer. In the summer, when we play an in-form Irish team in a series, we’ll probably have a better notion.
The All Blacks’ three-Test series against Ireland in July, which will be played at Eden Park in Auckland, Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, and Sky Stadium in Wellington, is building up to be a thriller, with revenge on the All Blacks’ minds after their November setback in Dublin.
In August, New Zealand will face the Springboks in two Rugby Championship matchups in Mbombela and Johannesburg. Ireland has had a strong start to the Six Nations, winning 29-7 against Wales and 57-6 against Italy, but losing 30-24 to France.
Six Nations tournament
The overarching message from this Six Nations tournament is that Ireland and Wales are obviously ahead of the game right now. What I’m seeing from the French is that they seem fit, organized, and have a successful culture, Fitzpatrick said.
They appear to be playing for each other, which is fantastic, and they’re young. Which is an important factor in the future. When you look at former RWC winners. You’ll notice that they have a mix of youth and experience, but they also have depth in their numbers. When I mention Ireland and France. I’m talking about countries that have everything going for them.
I was in New Zealand, live-streaming the games at 5 and 6 p.m., and there is a sizable audience in New Zealand. I must say, watching what’s going on up here. After losing to France and Ireland in the autumn. There is a lot of anticipation for what will happen in the coming 12 months.
So, whether it’s the French Top 14 or the Premiership. Everyone is interested in watching rugby from Europe right now. And the general consensus is that the level of rugby is far higher than in the past. Which reflects what we’re witnessing in the Six Nations.
We recognize that we (the All Blacks) have some catching up to do, and the Super Rugby scenario. As well as the problem with Covid, are not helping us develop our young talent in order to be ready to play the Irish in the summer. Let alone the Rugby World Cup in 18 months.