All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will make a decision on his future before the end of this year.

Hansen has been at the helm since earning promotion from assistant in 2012. In that time he has carved an 88.4 per cent win rate, with the first loss to Ireland in Dublin his eighth across 95 tests in charge.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has indicated he, too, will make a call on whether to continue after next year's World Cup, or return home to New Zealand, by the end of this month.

Asked what he thought Schmidt would do, Hansen revealed his own mind would soon be made up about whether to stick with the All Blacks beyond 2019 or pass the baton.


"You'd have to ask Joe. We're all going to be making announcements shortly," Hansen said.

"Not right now, no, but I decided before I left I was going to make one and I'll do that when I get home at some stage before Christmas."

In all, Hansen has now been involved with the All Blacks for 14 years; a period which includes two World Cup crowns in 2011 and 2015 as head coach.

He has always maintained any decision would be made with the best interests of the team in mind, and in consultation with his family given the demands attached to being away from home for such extended periods.

The World Cup seems a naturally juncture to call time but, equally, it would not surprise if Hansen opts to stay on.

The All Blacks will, meanwhile, push ahead for their final test of the year in Rome with a squad of 29 after five players left the team in Dublin.

Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock, due to sit out the first four matches of next season, starts his leave early, while Sonny Bill Williams (shoulder), Liam Squire (knee) and Joe Moody (eye) are also en route home.

Matt Todd's return to Japan leaves the All Blacks with four loose forwards but Hansen will stick with plans to give fringe players a run against Italy this week.