All Blacks: How the new coaching ticket has influenced the global head coach market

Jared Wright
A look at how the confirmation of New Zealand's coaches for after the 2023 World Cup has impacted and could still influence head coaching roles worldwide.

On Wednesday, New Zealand Rugby confirmed Scott Robertson’s coaching team from 2024, with the announcement having a domino effect on several coaching jobs worldwide.

The end of a four-year Rugby World Cup cycle often leads to plenty of change, but with the All Blacks making unprecedented changes that we have not seen in the last decade, it will have an impact on the global coaching scene.

Planet Rugby takes a look at the knock-on effect it has had and who could fill the vacancies that it has created.

Leon MacDonald

We start with MacDonald. It’s been widely reported over the past 12 months that MacDonald would choose between New Zealand and Scotland for 2024.

He was being lined up as a replacement for Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and confirmed that he had other offers.

“I had chats with a few different people because you just didn’t know what was going to happen,” MacDonald said. “It was a good chance to have a think about what was next.

“But the All Blacks was always going to be the pinnacle – the dream job.” 

So with MacDonald favouring New Zealand over Scotland, Townsend looks set to stay on as head coach.

Scotland’s uptick in form during the Six Nations has boosted confidence in the former fly-half, and The Times reported in early April that he was offered a two-year extension.


The Blues will need to replace MacDonald ahead of next season, and it has been reported that former Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie was approached for the job.

However, Rennie will instead head to Japan to take charge of the Kobelco Kobe Steelers. He reportedly committed to the role while still working with the Wallabies.

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore told Sky Sport that they are looking for a ‘statesman’ to replace MacDonald – a coach to further develop the promising playing and coaching squad at the Auckland-based side.

Having already worked with the Blues, Joe Schmidt is being targeted for the role as he will leave the All Blacks set-up along with Ian Foster. Stuff reports that Schmidt does have a ‘big offer’ with an unnamed team in France.

If the former Ireland head coach does not take up the Blues job, former Wallabies boss Robbie Deans could.

Deans has been hugely successful with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan since 2014.

The 63-year-old could return to Super Rugby after winning five titles with the Crusaders between 2000 and 2008. The Reds are also keen on his services after confirming that Brad Thorn will vacate his role at the end of the season.

Crusaders and Leinster

Meanwhile, with Robertson leaving the Crusaders after an extremely successful stint, his assistant Scott Hansen was set to be one of the front-runners to take over as the Canterbury-based side’s head coach.

However, with Hansen joining the All Blacks’ set-up, the Crusaders are now in the market for a head coach.

It is reported that the feeling is that it is too soon for assistant coach Tamati Ellison to step into the top job, and the same applies to Canterbury coach Marty Bourke.

One man whose name repeatedly pops up is current Leinster attack coach Andrew Goodman. He left the Crusaders at the end of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season to join Leo Cullen’s staff. But he is still thought to be one of the front-runners for the Crusaders gig.

Hurricanes, Japan and Sharks

The Hurricanes are set to take their time finding Jason Holland’s replacement, with no names linked to the role yet.

But Jamie Joseph is believed to be in the final year as Japan’s head coach and could be an option for several New Zealand teams. He could fit the profile of the Blues, Hurricanes and Crusaders.

After missing out on the All Blacks’ top job, will Joseph be keen to return to New Zealand with a Super Rugby side?

Current All Blacks boss Foster will also be in the market for a new job come 2024. He will unlikely take up one of the Super Rugby jobs in New Zealand. So could he replace Thorn at the Reds? Or will he be on his way to Japan or Europe? Only time will tell with this one.

John Plumtree, one of Foster’s assistants until last year, is also considering his options. The experienced coach has been spotted in South Africa and is reportedly mulling over a contract offer to be the Sharks’ head coach again.

However, according to South African media, the Durban-based side is facing competition for his services. A return to the Hurricanes could also be on the cards for the 57-year-old.

There is also a chance that former Wales head coach Wayne Pivac could take one of the Super Rugby jobs. He has yet to take up a role since his sacking in December. 

READ MORE: Leon MacDonald: Working with the All Blacks is the ‘pinnacle’