Editorial: Succession planning pays off for All Blacks

The All Blacks under Sir Graham Henry and then Hansen have been a model of careful development and succession planning. Photo / Getty Images
The All Blacks under Sir Graham Henry and then Hansen have been a model of careful development and succession planning. Photo / Getty Images

After winning the Rugby World Cup last year, All Black coach Steve Hansen could probably name the tenure of his next contract.

He wanted to take the team through another two years and, thereafter, New Zealand Rugby's options were open. Now it has extended Hansen's contract to the next World Cup in 2019.

Hansen's winning record is second to none. He took over a winning team and guided it to greater heights of performance, and he may be on the brink of repeating the feat. But nobody will know until his next team has played for a season or two.

Staying ahead of the wave is hard in any field of competition, commercial or cultural as well as sporting. Change has to be made before failure forces it upon the organisation.

No manager is more aware of this than those who select and coach successful sporting teams. They are constantly reviewing players' performances and looking ahead.

The All Blacks under Sir Graham Henry and then Hansen have been a model of careful development and succession planning. So much so, that most of the six veterans who departed after winning their second World Cup already had exciting replacements in the squad.

Three years earlier, Hansen's own succession was seamless. By the time he is taking the team to the next World Cup his own successor ought to be at his side. Perhaps he already is.

- NZ Herald

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