Written by Reuters
14 Dec, 2018 | 4:19 pm
Reuters – All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said on Friday (December 14) that he will step down at the conclusion of next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan after deciding the job needed “fresh eyes”.
The 59-year-old Hansen has been involved with the team since 2004, first as an assistant to Graham Henry and then as head coach from 2012, and fashioned an unrivaled record in the professional era, having won 85 of his 96 games in charge.
Hansen told a packed news conference in Auckland, that he had decided to make the announcement now to avoid their World Cup build-up being disrupted by questions about his future. Hansen said he had not thought about his future beyond the next 12 months. Local media reported that he might take on a director of rugby role with New Zealand Rugby.
Leading contenders to replace Hansen include Wales coach Warren Gatland, who is returning to New Zealand after the World Cup, Hansen’s assistant Ian Foster and Canterbury Crusaders coach Scott Robertson. Joe Schmidt had been touted as a potential successor after he turned Ireland into an international powerhouse, but he said last month that he would “finish with coaching” following next year’s tournament.
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