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NZ boss laments loss, pressure on Foster

New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson says the All Blacks’ Test series loss to Ireland is “not acceptable” as the pressure intensifies on coach Ian Foster ahead of next year’s World Cup.

The Irish notched up a 32-22 win over New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday to complete a 2-1 series win over the three-times world champions.

“Congratulations to the Irish team for their well-deserved win last night, but clearly the performance across the series for the All Blacks was not acceptable as we know they have reflected,” Robinson said.

“We all know there is a huge amount of work to do.

“Our focus now is to work with Ian and his team to understand thoroughly in advance of the Rugby Championship what is needed to improve performance and where to from here.

“We will begin this work immediately.”

The defeat meant the All Blacks lost a home series for the first time since 1994, but Foster is confident he can lead the team out of a slump that has seen them fail to win four of their last five matches.

The 57-year-old, who has been in charge since 2019, refused to address speculation over his position.

“We’ve got to go and analyse that series deeply again,” he said. “It was a series we had a number of disruptions to our original plans going into it but we were able to build a number of parts of our game.

“There’s a number of new people who were exposed to a very intense series for us, one we haven’t had for a while. It’s given a massive marker for this particular group about where we’re at.

“There’s no doubt we have to roll our sleeves up and get a lot of work done.”

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