Foster laughs off Hansen's Wallabies assist for Jones

Eddie blows up at 'negative' media: You're part of the problem (2:22)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has slammed the media as his side flies out for the World Cup, taking aim at their pessimism about the squad's chances in France. (2:22)

All Blacks coach Ian Foster says he's been chuckling about the headlines surrounding his illustrious predecessor Steve Hansen's visit to the Wallabies camp in France.

Making it clear he thinks the episode is all a pre-Rugby World Cup storm in a teacup, Foster was even left joking that he expects to receive a dossier from his former boss Hansen detailing all that's going on in the camp of their old trans-Tasman rivals.

The topic of whether the 64-year-old Hansen has somehow shown 'treachery' by accepting his Australian mate Eddie Jones' invitation to help the Wallabies has prompted somewhat of a stir in New Zealand.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins laughed they should cancel Hansen's citizenship while hooker Dane Coles reckoned he was "gobsmacked" to see their old World Cup-winning coach working in enemy territory.

But Foster, who was Hansen's assistant at the last two World Cups including their triumphant 2015 campaign, said he was clear about his old boss's continuing commitment to the All Blacks cause.

Asked about the link-up, which Jones has described as being like "a mate having a beer (asking) 'What do you think? Where can we improve?'", Foster had reporters laughing in London on Wednesday as he said: "Outstanding. He's (Hansen) agreed to give me three pages of notes about everything that's going on in their camp.

"I chuckle at the headlines. You guys must be pretty excited by it, but he told me a month ago he was going in.

"He's good mates with Eddie, but, mate, there's no lack of trust or from his commitment to us and to what we do and sharing stuff, so I've got no issues really.

"In fact, we might bring him in for a couple of days."

When the 'Hansengate' affair was again brought up at the news conference to announce the All Blacks team to play world champions South Africa in a World Cup warm-up at Twickenham on Friday, Foster smiled: "Jeepers, surely we've got a better topic to talk on than Steve Hansen going to the Aussies for a couple of days with Eddie.

"I'm happy to keep talking about it, by the way, but I really don't think there's much in it."

Foster, though, was keener to talk about the strong line-up he's putting out for the All Blacks' final pre-France tune-up, including the same backline that helped shred the Springboks 35-20 in the Rugby Championship in Auckland last month.

Changes from that team include Luke Jacobson replacing Shannon Frizell at flanker, Sam Whitelock coming in for Brodie Retallick in the second row and Coles replacing Codie Taylor at hooker.


Beauden Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Mark Telea, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot. Replacements: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Josh Lord, Tupou Vaa'i, Dalton Papali'i, Cam Roigard, Anton Lienert-Brown.