10 Apr 2024

Ian Foster to coach World XV, All Blacks consultant joins England

8:45 am on 10 April 2024
Ian Foster.

Ian Foster. Photo: Photosport

France will take on a rugby World XV team led by former All Blacks coach Ian Foster in Bilbao in Spain in June before the French head off on a tour of Argentina.

Montpellier head coach Patrice Collazo will join Foster as assistant coach.

The match will take place on 22 June at San Mames Stadium, which last hosted the European Rugby Champions Cup Final in 2018.

Maxime Machenaud (Bayonne & France), Camille Lopez (Bayonne & France), Mako Vunipola (Saracens & England), Semi Radradra (Lyon & Fiji), Billy Vunipola (Saracens & England) and Tevita Tatafu (Bayonne) are already confirmed to play in the World XV squad.

"We are delighted to host this historic match... which undoubtedly enhances the growth of rugby in our country," Spanish Rugby Union president Juan Carlos Martin 'Hansen' said in a statement.

Strawbridge gets permanent role with England

Former All Blacks skills consultant Andrew Strawbridge will join England as an assistant coach and coaching advisor ahead of their tour of Japan and New Zealand in June and July.

The 59-year-old has been appointed to a permanent role after coming in on a temporary basis as a skills consultant in January when it was also announced that Kevin Sinfield would leave his assistant coach role after the summer tours.

Andrew Strawbridge with the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup France 2023

Andrew Strawbridge with the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz

Strawbridge was with the England team in the first four weeks of their Six Nations' campaign.

The New Zealander was a skills consultant with the All Blacks, helping them reach the final of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

He previously coached at North Harbour and Auckland, worked with New Zealand's highly successful under-20s team, and spent several years with Waikato.

"His extensive coaching experience in Super Rugby and the international arena, as well as his expertise in player development, complements our existing coaching group well," Borthwick said in a statement.

Strawbridge said he had been impressed with England's desire to grow and compete during his time with the squad in the Six Nations.

"I am immensely proud to be involved in the England coaching group and look forward to playing a part in helping the team achieve its goals," he added.