New Zealand have appointed Ian Foster to coach the All Blacks, replacing Steve Hansen who left the post at the end of the Rugby World Cup.
Foster, 54, served as Hansen’s assistant for eight years and saw off competition from Crusaders coach Scott Robertson to earn his promotion.
“I feel truly privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity,” he said.
Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt, former Wales and Ireland coaches respectively, had been linked with the job.
Dave Rennie, who will leave Glasgow to take up the head coach role with Australia in July, and Jamie Joseph, who committed to leading Japan to another World Cup, had also been suggested as possible replacements for Hansen.
New Zealand Rugby contacted 26 coaches over the vacancy, but Foster and Robertson, who has overseen three successive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders, were the only two confirmed candidates.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the All Blacks over the last eight years and I’m excited and energised by a new coaching team who will join me,” said Foster, who will announce his four-strong team of assistants at a later date.
New Zealand won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015, but were beaten by England in the semi-finals of the 2019 tournament in Japan.