Kieran Read: All Blacks coaching situation ‘hasn’t been handled well’

Colin Newboult
All Blacks legend Kieran Read has criticised New Zealand Rugby’s handling of the coaching position. Ian Foster scott robertson All Blacks

2CHF2RN Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup - New Zealand Captain's Run - Beppu Jissoji Multipurpose Ground, Beppu, Japan, October 1, 2019 - New Zealand's Kieran Read during training. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

All Blacks legend Kieran Read has criticised New Zealand Rugby’s (NZR) handling of the coaching position.

Crusaders boss Scott Robertson is expected to take the role following the Rugby World Cup, but the governing body did not provide much clarification over the process.

It has made the situation difficult for both Ian Foster – the All Blacks’ current head coach – and Robertson, with both speaking publicly about it over recent weeks.

Foster confirmed via a statement on Wednesday that he will not be reapplying for the job, with his contract ending after the World Cup in France.

The NZR also finally came out and announced that a decision would be made in “four to six weeks”.

It remains a messy situation, however, and Read has not been impressed by the governing body’s approach.

Behind closed doors

“The whole thing hasn’t been handled well. With New Zealand Rugby, really all the stuff should be handled behind closed doors,” he told The Breakdown prior to NZR’s press release.

“It shouldn’t be aired. Both coaches (Foster and Robertson), or everyone that’s come out talking, it shouldn’t be happening.”

Read has also given backing to his former coach, Robertson. The ex-All Blacks captain played under the 48-year-old at the Crusaders and witnessed first-hand how he rejuvenated the Christchurch outfit.

“From my point of view, I think Razor is the next All Blacks coach, it’s probably what should be happening after the World Cup, but it’s about how best we get there,” he said.

“Probably the best way forward if we’re going to look after the best coaches in the country, which Razor certainly is, is naming him, moving on, and everyone can focus on supporting Fozzie.

“That’s what we need to do this year. The way New Zealand Rugby let things hang, Fozzie probably didn’t feel like there was much support for him.”

Distraction

With speculation continuing over the coaching position, it could affect the players, but Read doesn’t believe that it will cause any short or medium-term problems.

“Players don’t want distractions but, coming from a player’s perspective, they won’t mind or care what happens, as long as it gets dealt with in the right way,” he said.

“The way it’s been dealt with at the moment, there are distractions everywhere. So just go on, and either name the new coach or don’t, it’s as simple as that.

“It’s not going to derail the players if you name the All Black coach this week. For me, it’s the best way forward.”

READ MORE: Ian Foster confirms he will step down as All Blacks head coach after World Cup