Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has criticised New Zealand Rugby for their “poor” treatment of All Blacks boss Ian Foster.
Foster is still the All Blacks coach, for now, but his replacement has already put pen to paper with NZR.
Following months of rumours and speculation, NZR confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Crusaders coach Scott Robertson would succeed Foster in the All Blacks’ hot seat.
Robertson will take the coaching reins after this year’s World Cup in France, and will lead the national team through to the 2027 tournament in Australia.
With a smile on his face, Robertson fronted the media for the first time as the new All Blacks coach earlier this week.
All seemed right with the rugby world – NZR and the All Blacks had got their man, and supporters were left optimistic for the future.
But Robertson’s time in charge is still months away. The All Blacks have a job to do this year, and Foster will lead the team in the pursuit of rugby immortality.
With this year’s tournament just over five months away, Wallabies coach Eddie Jones described the announcement as “inappropriate.”
“I think it’s really poor how New Zealand Rugby have done it,” Jones said on his podcast Eddie.
“Ian Foster’s here now, he’s a good man and he’s given a lot to New Zealand Rugby as assistant coach and now head coach.
“I just think the timing’s inappropriate, leading into a World Cup, naming their coach beforehand just causes another distraction they don’t need.
“Maybe if they had their time again they’d handle it a little bit differently but… that seems to be the way of the world now.”
Rugby Australia flipped the rugby world on its head earlier this year when they confirmed that Dave Rennie had been replaced as Wallabies coach by Eddie Jones.
The legendary coach had previously been axed by the RFU as England’s boss, and was a free agent heading into a World Cup year.
“Having experienced both sides of it myself, it’s a changing world for professional coaches in rugby and we’re starting to move towards the football model of three games aren’t very good, your fourth better be good or you won’t be in the chair,” he added.
“You get the phone call, come to training, the chairman wants to meet you at 8am, and you know it’s not for avocado on toast.”
Eddie Jones’ staff has continued to take shape in Australia, with the Wallabies adding former England forwards coach Neal Hatley to the setup.
Hatley was part of Jones’ staff that led England to a Rugby World Cup final in Japan four years ago.
“I’m honoured to join Eddie and the Wallabies in what’s a massive year with the World Cup just over five months away,” Hatley said in a statement.
“While my focus is here with Bath at the moment, I know there’s plenty of potential within the playing group in Australia and I’m looking forward to maximising that when I begin the role.”
After returning to Australia’s shores, Jones will lead the Wallabies for the first time this year when they take on defending world champions South Africa at Loftus Versfeld.
Jones’ Wallabies will also play Argentina, New Zealand and France ahead of this year’s World Cup.