14 Dec 2018

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen confirms he will step down after next year’s World Cup

10:11 am on 14 December 2018

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has revealed he will step down after next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has announced he will step down as the team's coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says stepping down from the role will allow someone with fresh eyes and fresh thinking to take the lead. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

He said whoever replaced him would bring a new perspective.

"Some fresh eyes, some fresh thinking ... whoever it is will be fresh. It will be for the enhancement of the legacy of the jersey," he said.

Hansen comes off contract with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) after the tournament, which runs next September and October.

He has been Head Coach of the All Blacks since 2012 and prior to that was an Assistant Coach for eight years.

Watch Steve Hansen discussing his future here:

Hansen told media this morning two big reasons for making the choice were what was right for the team, and what was right for 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. I think change after the Rugby World Cup will bring a new outlook for the team and it'll be time for someone else to enhance the legacy of the All Blacks."

He said he doesn't know what was next for him after he stepped down as coach but for now the focus was on winning the Rugby World Cup.

"Thankfully, I've been able to surround myself with good people and good players who have allowed me to make this decision myself. It's not the end because we've got another 12 months to go."

He wasn't reflecting just yet - now he had made the decision he was looking forward to the World Cup.

He said the potential for a third All Blacks win at the World Cup was "exciting".

"It is probably going to be the toughest World Cup ... from a competitive point of view."

Speaking about stepping down, Hansen said he wasn't sick of the pressure - he'd enjoyed it during his time as coach.

"I've been thinking about it for a long time. One of the things as a coach is to make sure you're doing the right thing for the team."

"I'd like to coach this team for the rest of my living days. But that's not the right thing to do.

"You can't do this job by yourself. Whilst I get a lot of the accolades, it's because of the people around [me]."

On Friday 14 December, Steve Hansen announced he would step down as All Blacks coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Hansen doesn't know what's next for him after he steps down as coach but for now, the focus is on winning the Rugby World Cup Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Hansen has guided the All Blacks through 95 tests, winning 84, drawing three and losing eight, for a success rate of almost 89 percent.

He said he hoped whoever replaced him would help take the All Blacks to another level.

Hansen wouldn't be drawn to endorse any potential replacements.

"For one time in my life I'll keep [my] opinion to myself," he said.

NZR said it already had relationships with all the potential candidates to replace Hansen.

It also said it wouldn't be engaging a formal process before the World Cup as it did not want any distractions.

Possible replacements for the head coach role include Wales coach Warren Gatland, Dave Rennie and Scott Robertson, who led the Crusaders to back to back Super Rugby titles in his first two years in charge.

Praise for Hansen

All Blacks Chairperson Brent Impey said Hansen would leave the job as "one of the greatest ever All Blacks coaches".

"His record is unsurpassed. The All Blacks currently hold all the major trophies we play for, he played a critical role in the back-to-back-Rugby World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015, and we wish him and the team all the very best for next year's campaign.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said Hansen had overseen "one of the richest periods in All Blacks history".

"On his watch the All Blacks have had a winning rate of close to 90 percent - a remarkable run of sustained success. As well as his success on the field, he will also be remembered for his bold selections and the way he and his management team provided the opportunity and environment for the players to achieve their full potential on the international stage.

"He cares deeply about the game and the wider issues facing it and his views are hugely respected not only in New Zealand but internationally. On behalf of New Zealand Rugby, we congratulate Steve, his wife Tash and his family on his contribution to New Zealand Rugby - and the contribution he'll continue to make in 2019 - and we all look forward to what next year will bring."