All Blacks' Hansen eyes third World Cup

WELLINGTON • All Blacks coach Steve Hansen yesterday re-signed with the New Zealand rugby team until 2019, giving him the chance to defend the World Cup in Japan.

He has already been involved in two World Cup wins with the All Blacks, as assistant coach in 2011 and coach in 2015.

"It's good news for everyone involved in rugby in this country," New Zealand Rugby (NZR) chief executive Steve Tew said.

Hansen's existing contract was due to expire next year, when the British and Irish Lions tour New Zealand.

He said the recent 3-0 Test series win over Wales confirmed he still had the passion for the job and he decided to continue after discussions with his family.

Hansen added support from the players and management for him to stay was unanimous.

"Once I got over those discussions it was a real no-brainer because it's the best job going," he said, adding he was relishing the prospect of the All Blacks chasing a third straight World Cup.

"I love what the All Blacks are, the history that comes with them and the legacy that they've created. I'm really grateful and love being part of it."

During Hansen's tenure as All Blacks coach, they have won 52 Tests, drawn two and lost just three, giving him a win rate of 92.1 per cent.

The 57-year-old was appointed in late 2011 after serving as assistant coach under Graham Henry for eight years.

He signed a contract extension in 2014 and repaid NZR's faith in him last year by guiding the All Blacks to their first World Cup title outside New Zealand.

Hansen, a former policeman who played in the rugby stronghold of Canterbury, also coached Wales to the quarter-finals of the 2003 World Cup.

Tew said the contract extension gave NZR time to look for a long-term successor to Hansen, ideally one who would work under him at the 2019 World Cup.

"We've got an opportunity now leading through to 2020 to make sure we do a good job around succession planning," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2016, with the headline 'All Blacks' Hansen eyes third World Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe