Duncan Garner: Ian Foster not the right call for All Blacks coach

OPINION: Along with the Prime Minister it's the most scrutinised job in the country - just ask John Hart, Grizz Wylie, Steve Hansen, and Sir Graham Henry.

And just like politics, we all know best and what do these coaches really know about rugby.

That's why it's so important that New Zealand Rugby (NZR) gets it right when they replace Steve Hansen. 

It's been a closed shop for 15 years. The Canterbury mafia, led by the outgoing boss Steve Tew, was keeping it all in his cozy club.

They kept Henry and Hansen after the 2007 disaster and then it went from Henry to Hansen in 2011 and now Ian Foster appears to have the inside running to take over - why Foster?

I have no idea. I'm sure he has something but I don't see it with this All Black team - he's the attacking coach.

So why was Ben Smith on the bench then? And why can he not get Rieko Ioane to fire? The Mo'unga and Barrett experiment came too late in the piece.

His record with the Chiefs - he might present well, say all the right words, but I think NZR should use this crossroads to change direction. Get some fresh thinking in there. 

Surely Foster doesn't have anything new or innovative to offer?

We would have seen it.

Send Foster to the Chiefs and get the Chiefs-bound Warren Gatland to the All Blacks to team up with a combination of Scott Robertson, Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown for the All Blacks. All are proven performers.

New CEO of the union Mark Robinson will have few ties to Foster probably, and this is his first big call.

He used to play with Razor in the Crusaders. It's time to break this Tew-Hansen stranglehold. Yes it's been a hugely successful era but the use-by date is up.

Fresh thinking is needed to get us excited about the All Blacks again and for too long this season looked like an experiment that no one in charge could settle on or have confidence in. 

Foster must take some of the blame. 

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.