‘I love it’ – Ian Foster embracing jibes from rival Eddie Jones

 Credit: Alamy

Credit: Alamy

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has shrugged off the barbs aimed at the country from Australian rival Eddie Jones.

The Wallabies boss was in fine form ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup clash on Saturday.

Jones stated that “There’s nothing better than winning against New Zealand because you feel the country sinking,” before adding: “It’s not just rugby that sinks – the country sinks.

“The whole economy goes down, so the Prime Minister’s there with his fingers crossed hoping the All Blacks win.”

Journalists next in the line

He then proceeded to take aim at the New Zealand journalists by saying that they are just “fans with keyboards.”

Foster was asked about the mind games employed by Jones and he responded: “I love it. He is who he is. He prepares his team his way, and we prepare our team our way.”

On the nature of the comments themselves, the All Blacks head coach was slightly bemused.

“You might want to mention that to (prime minister Chris) Hipkins and (leader of the opposition Christopher) Luxon, and they can deal with that comment,” Foster said. “I just want to deal with the game.”

Foster believes there will be as much action on the field as there has been off it, with the All Blacks boss expecting an abrasive Wallabies side to take to the field.

“He’ll have a very hungry team,” Foster said. “It looks quite a big, physical team, particularly when you look at the bench. It looks like they’re going to introduce a bit of size through that. So it’s a good challenge.”

New Zealand have not looked too much at their previous encounter in Melbourne, which was won by Jordie Barrett in controversial circumstances, but Foster knows that these games have often been tight and tense.

“The one reminder that does come out of it is there are not too many years we don’t have drama and a last-minute result against the Wallabies. I remember Malakai [Fekitoa] in Brisbane (2014) scoring near the end, and Colin Slade kicking the conversion,” he said.

“It was one of so many Test matches that have gone down to the wire. We know they fight to the end, and so do we. We are going to have to.”

World Cup on the horizon

While the Rugby World Cup remains the focus for most teams, the All Blacks are not looking beyond this final Rugby Championship title as they look to seal the title.

“We kind of like the short-term focus at the moment. We don’t want to hide from the (World Cup) challenge and say we’re holding heaps of stuff back for later in the year. You can seduce yourself into doing that,” Foster added.

“It’s just a big test match and we love these. It’s the MCG, the Wallabies, and the Rugby Championship. It’s a chance to lock that away, and the Bledisloe is in addition. We’re going in with that expectation. That’s the best way t0 prepare for a Test match.

“We also know the challenge ahead. The Wallabies have clearly been wounded the last two Tests, but that hasn’t meant a lot in the past, and I’m sure it won’t mean much on Saturday.”

READ MORE: Five fixes for Eddie Jones and the wobbly Wallabies heading into the Rugby World Cup

The article ‘I love it’ – Ian Foster embracing jibes from rival Eddie Jones appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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