Hansen new All Blacks coach

2011-12-16 10:15
Steve Hansen (File)

Wellington - Steve Hansen was on Friday confirmed as the new head coach of the All Blacks after serving eight years as an assistant coach of the world's most successful rugby side.

Hansen was widely tipped to get the prestigious role when former head coach Graham Henry stepped down after steering the top-ranked All Blacks to victory in the Rugby World Cup on home soil two months ago.

"From a coaching point of view in this sport it's the greatest honour you can receive. It comes with a huge amount of responsibility," Hansen said when his appointment was announced.

With the All Blacks the newly crowned world champions, and no team having won successive World Cups, Hansen said he relished the challenge ahead and stepping out of Henry's shadow.

"You look at the Rugby World Cup history and teams have struggled slightly afterwards, but that makes the challenge even more exciting," he told a media conference.

"As Ali said to George Foreman around round seven of rope-a-dope, 'It's not a good time to get tired George,' so we can't afford to either.

"We've got to put a full stop on what we've achieved, and it's a magnificent thing what we have achieved, but this is a new team, a new group of people and we have to make our own history."

Hansen, a 52-year-old former policeman has signed a two-year deal and his coaching staff will be named next week.

He said he would have only one assistant coach and a panel of specialist coaches.

The previous three-man coaching team was in place for eight years, but as well as Henry stepping down backs coach Wayne Smith has also moved on and taken up a role with the Super 15 side Waikato Chiefs.

New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Mike Eagle said Hansen was the best possible candidate for the job.

"I want to congratulate him on his appointment. He is an outstanding coach and has been a key part of a hugely successful All Blacks team since becoming an assistant coach in 2004.

"He has huge respect and backing from the team and his peers and is the right man to now lead the team."

Eagle said having a World Cup-winning coach involved in leading the team forward was a major advantage and allowed for a seamless transition.

Hansen said he was both excited and honoured to be chosen to succeed Henry.

"I have huge pride in New Zealand rugby and I’m passionate about the All Blacks and New Zealand," he said.

"I feel humbled and proud to be given the opportunity to lead the team into its next phase. My aim will be to leave the team in a better shape than how I found it and to enhance its legacy."

The All Blacks are one of the most successful teams in world sport and have enjoyed an 85 percent winning record since Hansen joined Henry and Smith in the coaching set-up in 2004.

Read more on:    steve hansen

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

The Springboks' year of woe and misery came to a predictable end with defeat against Wales in Cardiff. What should happen next?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.