All Blacks veteran halfback Aaron Smith has come to the defence of under-fire coach Ian Foster, and captain Sam Cane before their tour of South Africa in the Rugby Championship.
The pair have come under much scrutiny following New Zealand's historic series defeat to Ireland, with calls for both to be replaced.
Instead, assistant coaches John Plumtree and Brad Mooar were relieved of their duties, with Crusaders forwards guru Jason Ryan brought in before their tests against the Springboks.
With the Rugby World Cup less than 14 months away, fans and pundits alike have voiced their concerns over Foster and Cane's positions at the helm.
But Smith has condemned the critics, and is confident his longtime mentor can spark an All Blacks turnaround.
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