Ian Foster joins Toyota Verblitz as head coach ahead of next season

Ian Foster coached New Zealand between 2020 and 2023
Ian Foster coached New Zealand between 2020 and 2023

Toyota Verblitz have confirmed that former All Blacks head coach Ian Foster will be joining the Japanese club as their new head coach ahead of the next season.

This will be Foster's first assignment since he was removed from the role of the New Zealand head coach last year despite the All Blacks reaching the final where they narrowly lost by a one-point margin.

The 58-year-old will be joining another former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who is the director of rugby at the club while former All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith is also part of the side.

Foster was assistant to Hansen when he was the head coach of New Zealand between 2012 and 2019 following which he took in charge of the side. He was eventually replaced by former Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson.

"I have kept an eye on the development of Japanese rugby over the last few years. There is no doubt Rugby League One is a competition that is improving all the time... and (I) am determined to make a difference," said Foster.

"And of course I am looking forward to linking back up with Steve and working with him again. We have always worked well together and have shared some incredible times."