Top players question All Black coaching decision

Ian Foster. Photo: Getty Images
Ian Foster. Photo: Getty Images
The country's top rugby players don't think Ian Foster should have the country's top coaching job according to an NZME poll.

Media company NZME said it asked more than 100 of the country's Super Rugby players anonymously on a range of topics, including the appointment last December of Ian Foster as Steve Hansen's successor.

That decision divided public opinion, with many regarding three-time Super Rugby champion Crusaders coach Scott Robertson as the superior candidate over Foster.

The poll asked "Did the NZRU get it right with their All Black coaching group?"

Almost half (46%) said no, while a further 26% believed Foster was a good appointment but not his assistant team of John Plumtree, Scott McLeod, Brad Mooar and Greg Feek.

The remaining 28% were happy with the overall makeup.

NZME said the 40-question poll, conducted between March and June, involved at least 15 current players from each of the five Super Rugby Aotearoa teams.

Incoming Wallabies coach and former Chiefs mentor Dave Rennie was rated equal third (9%, behind Highlanders assistant Tony Brown (17%) and Robertson (16%).

Other results included player ratings.

Playmaker Beauden Barrett was regarded as the country's premier player, heading off forwards Ardie Savea and Brodie Retallick.

Barrett's younger brother Jordie was rated the best under-23 player while the premier backline performers by position were Damien McKenzie (fullback), George Bridge (wing), Anton Lienert-Brown (midfield) and Beauden Barrett (five-eighth).

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