Assistant coaches recommit to All Blacks

All Blacks assistant coaches Ian Foster and Mike Cron have extended their contracs with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said the re-signing of two key members of the All Blacks coaching brains trust was welcome news for New Zealand Rugby.

"Ian Foster and Mike Cron continue to make invaluable contributions to the All Blacks and their respective roles in the team's success in recent years can't be underestimated," Tew told the All Blacks' official website.

" 'Fosie' has lead the team's back play and attack, which was second to none last year, with the All Blacks topping the international try-scoring table with 80 tries, almost double their nearest rival."

" 'Cronno' has long been considered the guru of scrum and forward play, and he remains one of the most innovative coaches in the game. His commitment to helping players improve is legendary.

"We are delighted to both have them re-sign with New Zealand Rugby."

Foster, who was brought into the All Blacks coaching group by head coach Steve Hansen in 2012, said: "I've really enjoyed the last five years, the successes and challenges we've had as a team, and the progress we've made, so it was a natural decision for me to sign on and commit through to the next World Cup."

Cron added: "While our eyes are currently on the upcoming DHL New Zealand Lions Series, it's exciting to think the next Rugby World Cup is on the horizon. 

"It'll be my fifth World Cup (four with the All Blacks and one with Wales) so that'll be something to look forward to. But more than anything, I'm looking forward to helping the team grow over the next two years to get ready for that."

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen has also praised his two fellow coaches.

"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."

Hansen described Cron as a "master craftsman."

"He's been around teams I've coached for a long, long time now and is someone I trust very much," he explained.

"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."