Under-pressure All Blacks sack two coaches, add Crusaders' expert

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New Zealand Rugby tossed out two All Blacks assistant coaches Sunday and brought in Canterbury Crusaders' Jason Ryan in a widely expected shake-up in the wake of the recent series loss to Ireland.

Forwards coach John Plumtree and attack coach Brad Mooar have been let go following "robust and in-depth conversations" about ways to improve performance, NZR said in a statement.

Ryan has been the forwards coach for the champion Crusaders team for the past six years, in which they have won six Super Rugby titles, as well as being the Fiji forwards coach.

"Jason is a proven performer with plenty of experience at international level," All Blacks coach Ian Foster said.

"Last year we witnessed first-hand the impact he has made on Fiji's forwards, adding to his continual growth as the forwards coach of the Crusaders. His appointment now is clearly with an eye to the future and to (the Rugby World Cup) 2023."

Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, now an All Blacks selector, has also taken on a key analysis role with the All Blacks and will work with Foster on overall strategy and attack play.

There was a huge outcry in New Zealand following the 2-1 series loss to Ireland, the first time they have lost a series to the Irish, with rugby pundits blaming poor coaching and a poorly constructed game plan, and calling for heads to roll.

Foster kept his position as head coach but announced he had parted ways with Plumtree and Mooar.

"Right now, I am really feeling for two fine men who are great rugby coaches that made an enormous contribution to the All Blacks," Foster said.

Mooar was coaching Scarlets in Wales when Foster sought him to be an assistant coach in 2019 and NZR was forced to buy him out of his contract.

Foster was chosen ahead of Crusaders coaching guru Scott "Razor" Robertson to take over the All Blacks when Steve Hansen retired following the 2019 World Cup.


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