Rugby: Steve Hansen to make decision on All Blacks future

Steve Hansen. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Steve Hansen. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Steve Hansen says he will make a decision on his coaching future before the Rugby Championship kicks off next month.

The All Blacks coach's contract expires at the end of 2017 but New Zealand Rugby have made no secret of the fact they want to retain him until the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Hansen has also made positive noises about staying in the job he took over from Sir Graham Henry after the successful 2011 World Cup campaign.

He has taken the All Blacks to a new level of success, having lost only three games under his watch, and it seems only a matter of settling terms for him to add another two years to his tenure.

Speaking with the BBC, Hansen said: "I'm sure if we can sit down, something positive will come.

He added: "There's four things I've looked at. One is the family, is it right for them? Is it right for the team? Is it right for the [New Zealand] rugby union and can I still get up in the morning and motivate myself and the team to improve?

"So if I can't do all those things, I won't do it. If I still think I can do it and the players are keen on me to do it then I'll think about it."

Asked if he still had the hunger to drive the team forward, he said: "That's one thing I found out during the latest series [with Wales], that it's still there and I love winning and I love that team.

"That combination of questions has been answered for me but there's one or two I've just got to ask myself yet and we'll make a decision before the Rugby Championship."

The All Blacks open their Rugby Championship campaign against Australia in Sydney on August 20 - the Wallabies won last year's competition in an abbreviated format because of the World Cup.

The All Blacks will play 11 tests this year but Hansen already has one eye on next year's Lions tour. The coach of that side is due to be named next month and Hansen thinks Wales coach Warren Gatland should get the now, despite the fact the All Blacks beat Wales 3-0 in the recent series.

"Gatland should be the frontrunner. He's taken the Lions away before and been successful with them, but who knows?

"Rugby politics is just about as bad as the real deal, so who would know what would happen over here?

"If you get it right, then you've got something special. So they'll be tough if they get it right."

- NZ Herald

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