All Blacks v Argentina: Frank Bunce thinks Ian Foster should backtrack on his plan to send players home early

Former All Blacks midfielder Frank Bunce feels coach Ian Foster will be making a huge mistake by sending members of his squad home in the wake of their historic defeat to Argentina on Saturday. 

Heading into the match, Foster said the team was looking at sending players home, giving them more time to recover ahead of a largely unknown 2021 season while many of the squad members have young families. 

Despite their 25-15 loss to the Pumas, Foster said their plans are unchanged and players will return to New Zealand early.

The All Blacks are not back in action until November 28, when they will get a chance to avenge their defeat to Argentina in Newcastle. 

But Bunce, who played 55 tests for the All Blacks believes Foster is making a mistake by sticking to his plans and feels the team would be better off getting through this challenging time as a unit. 

"My thinking is that the team has committed to playing so they should stay for the whole period of the tour," he tells Newshub. 

"Especially given the fact they've had the two losses and the performances haven't been wonderful. There is lots of work to do. 

"I'd hate to see people leaving the group, but in saying that, family is important.  I can see both sides but I'd prefer if they stayed, considering the losses they've had."

The All Blacks have a squad of 36 players in Australia and can afford to send some home, but they'd have to be wary of doing so. The loss to the Pumas came a week after the All Blacks lost to the Wallabies, the first time they've lost in back-to-back tests in 2011, before the World Cup.

Ian Foster.
Ian Foster. Photo credit: Photosport

Foster now has two wins, two losses, and a draw in his first five tests in charge of the national side, which is the worst win rate (40 percent) by an All Blacks coach after five tests since Alex McDonald in 1949.

Foster is now in the hot seat after a tough start in his first year as head coach, but Bunce thinks it's too early for him to get sacked. 

"Two losses aren't the end of the world but it isn't great," says Bunce. 

"We need to see some improvement, some different direction. There was no real evidence of a plan B, no change of tactics. 

"We have to give them time, there are new players and a new coaching regime so it's too early to talk about sackings but they have to improve."  

After the loss, Foster said he isn't feeling any pressure to keep his job. 

"This role always comes with pressure and what I feel now is [a] massive disappointment that I haven't achieved what I wanted to achieve in the last two games," says Foster. 

"We have a lot of good people in this group and we have shown we can perform at a high level and we need to go back and show we can do it again."