New Zealand: Hansen to step down as coach after World Cup
New Zealand coach Steven Hansen, who has been in charge of the All Blacks since 2011, says the world champions need some “fresh thinking”.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen announced on Friday that he will step down from the job after the 2019 World Cup in Japan, saying that the world champions need some “fresh thinking”.
"I think it's right for the team to have someone new after the World Cup, some fresh eyes, some fresh thinking," he said at a press conference.
Hansen, 59, took the job in 2011 after spending seven years as the assistant of Graham Henry. While in charge of the team, he guided the All Blacks to World Cup victory in 2015.
He has a win rate of almost 90 percent as New Zealand boss, having registered 85 victories, eight losses and three draws.
"His record is unsurpassed ... whatever happens next in Steve's career, his place as a New Zealand rugby legend is guaranteed," New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey said.
Now that Hansen has clarified his future plans, the spotlight turns in the direction of potential replacements, as there will be, for sure, no shortage of candidates lining up for the job.
"I've got opinions but for once in my life I'll keep those opinions to myself because I don't think it's helpful for the process," Hansen said when asked about his successor.
All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, a member of the team’s staff since 2012, is considered by some as the natural successor to Hansen.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and Crusaders boss Scott Robertson are other strong candidates for the job.
Hansen will now concentrate on trying to guide the All Blacks to a third consecutive World Cup win.
At the tournament in Japan, New Zealand willl share Pool B with South Africa, Italy, Namibia and Canada.