Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen launched a scathing attack on New Zealand Rugby (NZR), claiming the federation had presided over a series of high-performance failures and its relationship with players had reached a nadir.
In an interview with New Zealand radio station Today FM, the World Cup-winning coach also took aim at the media for being too hard on current All Blacks boss Ian Foster, who has been under fire since the 2-1 home series defeat by Ireland.
NZR launched a review of the All Blacks’ performance in the wake of the Ireland setback, resulting in Foster’s assistant coaches John Plumtree and Brad Mooar being sacked.
The review followed recent turmoil in the national women’s programme, which saw long-serving head coach Glenn Moore quit in April.
“Why don’t (the media) put their attention on the New Zealand Rugby union?” said Hansen. “There’s been a lot of reviews done recently – Glenn Moore and Ian Foster on their coaching abilities. And when did New Zealand Rugby do a review of itself?
“Our high-performance department at the moment has to be squirming at our record at under-20 level. Are we getting that business right? I don’t think so. If we’re not winning under-20 World Cups we’re not producing world-class players at a younger level to bring into this team.”
Meanwhile, southern hemisphere nations have agreed to continue their trial of the 20-minute red card rule in the Rugby Championship. The rule allows red-carded players to be replaced after 20 minutes by another player rather than condemn teams to playing out matches a man short.