New Zealand Rugby has appointed longtime All Blacks assistant head coach Ian Foster as the national side’s new head coach.

The 54-year-old succeeds Steve Hansen in the position after eight years serving as his assistant.

“It’s very humbling,” Foster said.

“To actually be given the opportunity and the privilege to have this position is an amazing feeling and one I feel incredibly accountable for to make sure I do a good job with it.”

Foster’s playing career spanned 148 games for Waikato between 1985 and 1998 along with two seasons for the Chiefs in the Super Rugby competition.

The All Blacks went down in the Rugby World Cup at the hands of England 19-7 at the semi-final stage, and Foster said the side needed to “change some things up.”

“We’re coming off a semi-final loss that hurt, so there’s a group with a lot of pain in it at the moment,” he said.

“So how we adjust and refresh this group and change some things up is going to be vital, just to create the energy we need to get us back to where we want to be.”