23 May 2017

Foster, Cron sticking with All Blacks

8:52 am on 23 May 2017

Just days after it was announced All Blacks assistant Wayne Smith was departing, fellow assistant coach Ian Foster and forwards coach Mike Cron have recommitted to the All Blacks through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

New Zealand coaches Steve Hansen and Ian Foster at All Blacks training at the Lensbury Hotel, Teddington, London. 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. Wednesday 16 September 2015. Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen (L) with assistant coach Ian Foster (R). Photo: Photosport

Foster and Cron have both signed on with the national side for another two years but All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen is on the hunt for a new defence coach following Smith's departure.

Smith will stay with the All Blacks through the upcoming British and Irish Lions Tour and the 2017 Rugby Championship before leaving the coaching team he has been a part of on and off for the past 17 years.

Foster meanwhile has been part of the All Blacks coaching staff since 2012 and has been tipped to take over the reigns from Hansen following the 2019 World Cup.

Forwards coach Cron has been the New Zealand's scrum mastermind since 2012 but was also used by previous All Blacks coaches as early as 2004.

All Blacks' forwards and scrum coach Mike Cron.

All Blacks' forwards and scrum coach Mike Cron. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hansen said he was pleased to confirm his wingmen ahead of the Lions Tour.

"Having 'Fosie' re-sign is great news. He's been an integral member of the All Blacks coaching and management group over the last five years and he brings a lot of composure, rugby nous and intellect to the team.

"He's a key member of our management leadership team, he runs the coaching unit and has done a fantastic job in that regard. To know that he's continuing through to the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2019 is fantastic.

"Cron's been around teams I've coached for a long, long time now and is someone I trust very much. He's never stopped growing as a coach, he's never stopped learning and he constantly stimulates the players with what he brings to the table. It's also fantastic to have him re-sign through to the next World Cup."