AFP

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen unlikely to continue beyond 2017

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen unlikely to continue beyond 2017
By Desmond Kane via Reuters

02/11/2015 at 08:10Updated 02/11/2015 at 09:27

Coach Steve Hansen is unlikely to be at the helm when New Zealand launch the defence of the World Cup in Japan in 2019 after the 56-year-old cast doubts over whether he will extend his contract which runs until 2017.

Hansen served as assistant coach under Graham Henry from 2004 before taking over after the team's second World Cup triumph in 2011.

He has a 91 percent win ratio as New Zealand head coach, winning 49 of his 54 matches in charge.

Hansen said it may not be in the best interest of the team if he were to carry on in his role.

"There's a reason why the contract only goes to 2017 and that is because I'm not sure about anything beyond that," Hansen told the Daily Telegraph.

"I wouldn't say 'no' but I'm certainly not saying 'yes' either. You only get 10 years for murder back home so...! I like the idea of changing the guard halfway through a cycle which has a World Cup in the middle of it.

"I think when people come in, it is easy to get some really dramatic shift early and it is a lot harder to keep that momentum going.

"Also, for a long time, we have put everything on the World Cup as the centre, but unless you've got real strength of character, you can get tricked into making decisions which are right for your survival, as opposed to what is right for the team.

"I would probably say it is more likely that I won't be there after 2017."

OUR VIEW

Whatever Steve Hansen does in rugby from here on in, it is unlikely to top what he achieved with New Zealand on Saturday evening at Twickenham. Fair enough, coaching a squad as magnificent as these All Blacks is hardly a chore, but Hansen also had to cope with the expectation of a public back home who not only expect their country to win and win well, but demand it from whichever cast represent the Kiwis. For instance, it is difficult to imagine now that some people quizzed the wisdom in choosing the majestic Daniel Carter for this tournament after his injury problems of the past.

Hansen ticked all the boxes alongside his coaching staff ensuring the All Blacks lifted the trophy - the greatest of their three World Cup wins achieved overseas - with a breathtaking amount of pace, power and no little flair, all the natural attributes associated with wearing one of sport's most celebrated shirts.

Hansen has already coached Wales during the 2003 World Cup where they lost to England in the last eight. It will be interesting to see if he would like another stint coaching a European country. He is unlikely to be short of offers whenever he decides to depart the Kiwis. When the dust settles, there may even be an appetite to pursue a third straight Webb Ellis Cup in Japan.

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