All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has a new job - and it's for a cause that's close to his heart.

The 2015 World Cup-winner has signed up as an ambassador for this year's RSA Poppy Appeal.

Hansen said the cause was especially important to him given his grandfather served in the Army, as has one of his daughters.

"It's about taking the time to get people to understand what it's all about."


The All Blacks are often on tour in the Northern Hemisphere during commemorations of Armistice Day, and sometimes wear a poppy on their jerseys in recognition of those who have served.

Hansen said paying tribute was a "massive honour".

"To do something in recognition of the people who have done so much for us, it's a privilege and an honour.

"The guys really support the cause."

Hansen said there was a lot the All Blacks could learn from the military, and Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata's association with the team had been beneficial.

"There's a lot we can learn from their leadership, and how they deal with extreme pressure.

"Having Willie around allows the guys to hear what it's like in the modern day."

Hansen said a key part of the appeal was looking after returned servicemen and women who were going through a tough time after coming back home.


"There are people still suffering depression, or suffering through injuries and they need our support."

Members of the public can support the appeal by making a donation to a street collector on Poppy Day, Friday, April 21. Donations can also be made at branches of ANZ and NZ Post, and at branches of Bunnings over the weekend of April 22 and 23. Z stations throughout the country will have special car poppies for sale.

NZME, publisher of the Herald, will be running a special appeal to complement the national appeal. It will raise money to send children of fallen servicemen and women to a camp in Australia that helps them and provides respite care for their surviving parents and caregivers.

This year also marks the 100-year anniversary of the Western Front where 2000 New Zealanders lost their lives and a further 10,000 were wounded in the battles for Messines and Passchendaele.

The Dawn Service at Auckland Museum this Anzac Day will be broadcast live on Maori Television from 5.50am, with the museum opening immediately following the service.