All Blacks arrive home as decision on Foster’s future looms

The All Blacks have arrived back in New Zealand after the opening leg of the Rugby Championship in South Africa with coach Ian Foster’s future still uncertain.

The All Blacks victory on Sunday morning over the Springboks was just the second win in their last seven games.

Last year the All Blacks lost to Argentina for the first time ever, and this year’s successive losses to Ireland was the first time New Zealand has suffered back-to-back defeats at home since 1998.

Foster, who’s been under intense scrutiny from New Zealand rugby fans thanked the public for their support when speaking to media at Auckland Airport on Tuesday morning.

READ MORE: Ian Foster: ‘My expectation is I’m the All Blacks head coach’

“I just want to thank everyone for the support, the support of the team.”

“You hear a lot of noise but we’ve had some amazing support over there (South Africa).

“Most of the rugby fans they’ve got right in behind us. When we dropped that first gameā€¦ I think hopefully people can recognize how hard the group is working.

“We’re pretty proud to put a performance on that, hopefully, rugby people in this country are proud of.”

Foster says the 35-23 second Test win against the Boks signals the All Blacks form slump is reversing.

READ MORE: All Blacks ‘fully expect’ Foster to remain head coach – Cane

“It’s always nice when you win and everything feels right when you win. We’ve had a few losses and it’s up to us to fix that – and that’s a pretty strong first step.”

Foster’s future appears to be hanging by a thread, after New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson refused to back him despite the All Blacks win on Sunday.

Robinson said the All Blacks’ latest performances would be reviewed again and a decision announced on Foster’s future this week.

READ MORE: Ian Foster’s fate to be revealed when team back in NZ

Foster acknowledged it’s expected that he – as All Blacks coach – will face criticism if the team isn’t performing well.

“We’re a tight team but we’re also an accountable team and so my job is to take the hits when things aren’t going that good, so I understand that.

“But when the door shuts and we get to work behind the scenes it’s a fantastic group to part of.”