All Blacks coach Hansen set to extend to RWC 2019

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen

New Zealand All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has stated that he will make an announcement on his future before the Rugby Championship.

All Blacks coach Hansen is contracted to the New Zealand Rugby Union until the end of 2017 but given that he became the first coach to win back to back world cups the NZRU want him to remain in charge.

Hansen is currently in England and told the BBC that his future will be will be decided by August and announced before the Rugby Championship which starts on 20 August.

When asked by the BBC whether it was more likely that he would stay on rather than go he said, “New Zealand Rugby have got to say they’re keen too.”

“I’m sure if we can sit down, something positive will come.”

Hansen added that being All Blacks head coach “is the best job from a New Zealanders’ point of view”.

The All Blacks coach said that the recent series victory over Wales helped him to decide whether he still wanted to continue.

“But there’s four things I’ve looked at. One is the family… is it right for them? Is it right for the team? Is it right for the (New Zealand) Rugby Union and can I still get up in the morning and motivate myself and the team to improve?

“So if I can’t do all those things, I won’t do it. If I still think I can do it and the players are keen on me to do it then I’ll think about it.”

When asked whether he still had the hunger to drive the team forward Hansen said,: “That’s one thing I find out during the latest series (a 3-0 win over Wales) that it’s still there and I love winning and I love that team.

“That combination of questions has been answered for me but there’s one or two I’ve just got to ask myself yet and we’ll make a decision before the Rugby Championship.”

On the matter of who should lead the British and Irish Lions on their tour to New Zealand next year against Hansen’s All Blacks he said, “”Gatland should be the frontrunner.”

“He’s taken the Lions away before and been successful with them but who knows?

“Rugby politics is just about as bad as the real deal, so who would know what would happen over here.”

“If you get it right then you’ve got something special. So they’ll be tough if they get it right.”

Hansen added that he felt it was unlikely that new England coach Eddie Jones would be involved in the Lions set up as he was so focused on England but did say it was “great to England back”.

“I think he’s given them a lot of self-belief. He’s given them a work ethic.

“They’ve gone down to Australia and I think they’ve said ‘right we’re going to play a really physical hard-nose game’.

“They’re going to be a very good side if he continues to grow them.

“It’s great for world rugby to see England back and being really competitive.”

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