Gregor Paul is the Herald on Sunday's rugby writer

Steve Hansen likely to extend All Blacks contract

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Getty Images.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Getty Images.

From being 70:30 against after the World Cup, to 50:50 a few months later, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen could now be more likely than not to extend his contract beyond 2017.

Having been with the All Blacks since 2004, the key factor in swaying Hansen's decision will be whether he still feels he is connecting with the players and able to have genuine influence.

He won't be able to be sure on that front until the All Blacks are back in action this year and he's working closely with the players and his wider management team on a daily basis.

Listen to Newstalk ZB's Radio Sport talk to Steve Hansen:

He says he also needs to be sure that his desire has both the intensity and purity required to make the team successful. That means he has to be sure that he wants to stay on as coach for the benefit of the team and not to satisfy his own ego.

"It [All Black coach] comes with a lot of responsibility and I don't want to just do it because you have a shot at history. It doesn't matter who is coaching this rugby team in 2019, they will have a shot at back to back to back. It's not the right reason to do it for personal glory. The right reason to do it is that I still believe, and others in the team still believe, I have got something to offer.

"There's a part of me who would never want to stop coaching the All Blacks because it's become part of my life. You can't get a better job. But, again, it's not the right reason to do it either. So you have to make a really strong decision.

"The biggest expectations we have in the team is the team first and individuals second. If it's right for the team and my family, then I may continue to do it."

Hansen is contracted through to the end of 2017. Having been assistant coach between 2004 and 2011, he took the head job in 2012 and has presided over only three defeats in that time, making him one of the most successful coaches in history.

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