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Big calls coming for NZ rugby says Marshall

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on October 29, 2019 - Duration: 02:24s

Big calls coming for NZ rugby says Marshall

Former All Blacks scrumhalf Justin Marshall says his national team have 'big decisions' ahead of them after a surprise loss to England in the World Cup semi-final.

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Big calls coming for NZ rugby says Marshall

SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 28, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

FORMER NEW ZEALAND SCRUMHALF JUSTIN MARSHALL PREPARING FOR INTERVIEW 2.

RUGBY WORLD CUP LOGO 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER NEW ZEALAND SCRUMHALF, JUSTIN MARSHALL, SAYING: "From New Zealand's perspective, semi-final losses are not acceptable.

We pride ourselves on getting to finals and it hasn't happened, so you would have to say it is a failure." 4.

MARSHALL DURING INTERVIEW 5.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER NEW ZEALAND SCRUMHALF, JUSTIN MARSHALL, SAYING: "Business as usual really.

When I went through the team and thought we had players leaving, it is catastrophic, we have a new coach coming in, I actually re-looked at it and thought it is actually not that bad.

New Zealand rugby is still in a good place.

There is going to be some changes because there is a change in coach and I think they will be positive." 6.

MARSHALL DURING INTERVIEW 7.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER NEW ZEALAND SCRUMHALF, JUSTIN MARSHALL, SAYING: "It is the adage isn't it, if it is not broken do you risk fixing it?

And when you look at New Zealand and their history, the momentum that the All Blacks have created in the last four years since the Rugby World Cup, their win ratio is just under 90%.

It's not bad.

So, do we jump in and change what's been very good for us, because you have (current assistant coach) Ian Foster applying and he has been in that system or do we go and wipe the slate clean and get somebody fresh coming in who works with the same players?

So you still have the consistency as in they (players) have been there and they have done that, but then you risk, I guess, having a new face with new ideas and a new way to play." 8.

MARSHALL BEING INTERVIEWED 9.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER NEW ZEALAND SCRUMHALF, JUSTIN MARSHALL, SAYING: "His (Eddie Jones) big challenge is mentally to get his players up and say; 'Look, we've not won a final yet.

It might feel like we've played one', which they probably do, but their challenge is to mentally get to the same place.

If they can get to the same place and play that same style of rugby then yes, categorically, they are overwhelming favourites to win this Rugby World Cup.

I was sitting next to (former England captain) Martin Johnson during the game and I said to him after 15 mintues there is absolutely no part of my memory, that is there, that has seen an England team play like that in an opening exchange against the All Blacks.

Not the fact that it's the All Blacks, no team in the world would be able to stay with the team that is playing that well balanced, that tempo, that accuracy and efficiency on defence and attack.

Boy, that's a hard level to get to." 10.

INTERVIEW ENDING STORY: New Zealand rugby faced some "big decisions" after their devastating loss to England in the Rugby World Cup semi-final, but the possibility of a new voice as coach could help the team refresh, former All Blacks scrumhalf Justin Marshall has said.

The All Blacks were seeking their third successive World Cup title in Japan but were bundled out of the tournament by a rampant England side in their semi-final last Saturday.

Head coach Steve Hansen is stepping down after the bronze medal match with Wales on Friday, while several veterans in captain Kieran Read, Ben Smith, Ryan Crotty and probably Sonny Bill Williams are all moving on.

Senior players Beauden Barrett, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick, also have agreements with New Zealand Rugby to take breaks away from the game before the 2023 World Cup in France.

Marshall played a then record 81 tests for the All Blacks at scrumhalf from 1995 until 2005, which included two unsuccessful Rugby World Cup campaigns in 1999 and 2003, and had five different head coaches.

There have been just two -- Marshall's last All Blacks coach Graham Henry and Steve Hansen -- in the last 15 after an unparalleled run of success.

While the 46-year-old thought there was some merit to continuing New Zealand Rugby's policy of promoting from within and appointing current assistant Ian Foster to succeed Hansen, some fresh ideas might not be bad.

Marshall acknowledged that as the All Blacks' goal was to win the Webb Ellis trophy for a fourth time and third in succession, then the 19-7 loss to England would be considered a failure.

The team, however, had evolved to meet the challenges of tighter defences, bringing in dual pivots in Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett, and still had a winning record of almost 85% since the last World Cup.

They were simply just blown away by a better team on the day, although England now had the added challenge of having to repeat the performance in Saturday's final against South Africa.

(Production: Jack Tarrant)

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