Former All Blacks coach wants game sped up after 'unacceptable' World Cup final

Former All Blacks coach wants game sped up after 'unacceptable' World Cup final

Former All Blacks head coach Ian Foster hopes that World Rugby will speed up the game after stating the Rugby World Cup final took an 'unacceptable' amount of time.

The 58-year-old's comments come after World Rugby revealed its plans for attracting the next generation of fans. Most of the recommendations centred around speeding up the flow of the game.

One idea is to reinforce referees' 'use it' calls, while another suggestion is to remove the scrum option from a free-kick to reduce dead time.

Foster says that the "proof will be in the pudding" and took another sly dig at the Springboks after his criticism of the South Africans at the World Cup.

During the pool stages of the tournament, the then-All Blacks boss believed that his side's 96-17 victory over Italy was more entertaining than the epic clash between South Africa and Ireland due to the difference in ball-in-play time.

"If you look at the South Africa-Ireland game, it was a different game of rugby. The ball was in play for 27 minutes throughout the whole game," Foster said.

"It was a very stop-start game, very physical, very combative. You saw a different spectacle tonight and at some point the world has got to decide which game it would rather watch."

Many onlookers took exception to Foster's comments after the brutal clash between the Boks and Ireland, and the ex-head coach has now doubled down on his criticism.

The All Blacks went on to lose the World Cup final to their fierce rivals, falling to a 12-11 defeat to the Springboks who he believed deliberately slowed the game down.

"The time that the final took is unacceptable," Foster told The Post. "The game understands that they need to change it.

"So, now it's how we commit to doing it. But, I think the other side of the coin is that we've all got to take ownership of that.

"Coaches have to take ownership of that and players have to take ownership of that too.

"We can't allow players to get to the point that they feel they can slow the game down deliberately, because it was happening too much at the World Cup."

Foster was speaking following the news that he would be joining fellow former All Blacks boss Sir Steve Hansen in Japan with Toyota Verblitz.

It's Foster's first coaching job since the World Cup and, looking ahead to the challenge, he added: "It's going be interesting for me to go over there and learn about what the gap is and where we feel we need to grow.

"I think there's some positive signs with Toyota about how they've been working hard in that development space.

"I think a lot is made of recruitment of overseas players, and I think that's all exciting, but the key really is the quality of your Japanese players over there."

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