Southern Hemisphere Coach Set For Ospreys

Ospreys bosses today revealed that Waikato Chiefs Head Coach Ian Foster is to return to the region for a two-week spell early next month, where he will once again link up with coaches Sean Holley and Jonathan Humphreys.


Foster spent three weeks in Ospreylia in the summer, working closely with the pair, as well as other coaches at the region in the build up to, and during the opening week of the Magners League campaign.

The Chiefs coach, who combines his Super 14 duties with the role of joint coach of the Junior All Blacks, is currently in Europe with the New Zealand national squad, where he is shadowing the coaching team for a fortnight as they prepared for last weekend's game against Wales and the forthcoming England match as part of his own personal development. He will join up with the Ospreys after the Twickenham clash at the end of this month and will remain with the region for two weeks, working once again with the coaching duo he described in September as two 'great talents' as they prepare for the Heineken Cup double header against Benetton Treviso.

Andrew Hore, Ospreys Elite Performance Director, commented:

"We are delighted to be able to welcome Ian back to the Ospreys. He made a huge impact here during his previous visit and I know he is looking forward to working with the coaching team at the region once again. We have made ongoing professional development for players and coaches alike a priority, with coaches and players heading to New Zealand to experience new cultures and environments, and with initiatives such as this one, where we are bringing one of the leading coaches in New Zealand back to the region to pass on his expertise to the team.

If we want to be the best, and to compete with the leading sides in Europe, then we have to accept that we need to continue learning. Bringing a coach of Ian's stature to work with our coaches at this important time, with his expertise in the areas of technical and tactical application and development will certainly assist with the development of our coaching team.

Ian has vast experience of this kind of mentor system, working closely with Warren Gatland when he was coach of Waikato, and on the flip side, bringing in Steve Hansen to assist at the Chiefs, so he fully appreciates the sensitivities and what is required. This type of arrangement works both ways, as well as assisting with the development of two exciting young coaches, he will also be gaining further experience of a different rugby culture, experiencing the day-to-day stresses of coaching in northern hemisphere rugby on the back of a short spell touring the UK with the All Blacks, with the view to becoming a more rounded coach himself."