Published: Sun, December 16, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Steve Hansen to quit All Blacks after World Cup

Steve Hansen to quit All Blacks after World Cup

Hansen told a packed news conference in Auckland, that was live streamed by all major media companies in the rugby-mad country, that he had decided to make the announcement now to avoid their World Cup build-up being disrupted by questions about his future.

Hansen has been in charge of the All Blacks since 2012, guiding them to 85 wins and three draws in 96 Tests.

For Hansen, he wants to spend more time with his family.

"After being involved in the All Blacks for 16 years, I do feel it's right for the team for me to stand down", the 59-year-old told reporters in Auckland.

"I've got opinions but for once in my life I'll keep those opinions to myself because I don't think it's helpful for the process", Hansen said when asked about his successor.

Kendra Cocksedge winning the top prize at the annual New Zealand Rugby (NZR) awards breaks down another barrier for the women's game on its continued revolutionary rise within New Zealand.

Cocksedge's hat-trick of trophies were richly deserved for a player whose consistent excellence has led to some phenomenal success on the field, but her latest accolade is another milestone worth celebrating in what's been a hugely progressive period for women's rugby since the Black Ferns won the World Cup in September a year ago.

Hansen said in making his intentions clear nearly 10 months out from the World Cup, he hoped to give New Zealand Rugby the longest-possible time to find his successor.

Hansen said he wanted to make the announcement about his future early so New Zealand Rugby had time to identify a successor.

"Whatever happens next in Steve's career, his place as a New Zealand rugby legend is guaranteed".

"It's probably going to be the toughest World Cup from a competitive point of view", he said.

That betters the record achieved during the eight years of Graham Henry's tenure, when Hansen was an assistant.

His departure will start a scramble for his position, with Foster and Ireland's Kiwi-born coach Joe Schmidt considered the frontrunners to replace him.

But Hansen pointed out that was during the period from 2004 in which the Crusaders won most of their seven Super Rugby titles, something Foster could have prevented.

She also scooped the Women's Player of the Year award for her contribution to the Black Ferns this season, as well as Fiao'o Faamausili Medal for her role in Canterbury's Cup success. He had previously seemed to rule out a bid for the role but said this week that "you never say never".

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