3 Nov 2019

Steve Hansen: 'It's someone else's problem now'

8:06 am on 3 November 2019

Outgoing All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen believes his assistant Ian Foster is well placed to take over the top job.

Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen says Ian Foster already has a strong team in place to help him if he takes over the top job with the All Blacks. Photo: PhotoSport

After 16 years coaching with the team, the last eight of those in charge, Hansen's final match at the helm was Friday night's win over Wales in the Rugby World Cup bronze medal match.

Foster has already expressed his interest in moving into the head coach role, while another former Chiefs coach Dave Rennie and Crusaders coach Scott Robertson are also names being mentioned.

Hansen said it would make sense in several ways to promote his long-term assistant.

"I guess with hindsight because Fozzie has been there for the last eight years and done a fantastic job and understands what happens. He's got a good head-start on everybody else on what's needed.

"He's known for a long time that I've been leaving and he's put together a very, very strong [support] team.

"If that team comes together they'll have a lot of the ingredients that are needed."

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster.

Ian Foster has known for years that Steve Hansen planned to quit after the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Photosport

As for his own decisions, Hansen wasn't having any second thoughts about stepping down from the job.

Waking up this morning with his All Blacks' career over, he was very much at peace with his decision.

"It's not strange, but it is a good feeling.

"It's ironic actually. Normally I take my hard drive and give it to one of the analysts. I didn't even bother last night, it's someone else's problem now.

"But, no, it's a good feeling. Tash [my wife] and I were talking about it this morning and it's been a good ride but it's one that we both knew was time to finish."

That ride has also been a hugely successful one.

The New Zealand side may have only managed bronze at this World Cup, but they did win the 2015 tournament and the eight years Hansen has been in charge have the most wins in the team's history.

2019 Rugby World Cup Bronze Final, Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan 1/11/2019
New Zealand vs Wales
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen waves to the crowd after the game

Photo: INPHO 2019

Hansen received a roaring round of applause from the Kiwis in the crowd as he was interviewed on-field immediately after the match, which he said was special to receive.

"It's humbling and a little embarrassing. Like, I couldn't speak so I looked like a bloody zombie.

"Even talking about it now is making me feel a bit emotional. You don't fo it for that, but it is an added bonus that people think you've done a good job."

And although the All Blacks had not achieved their goal in Japan, Hansen believed the signs for the future were very positive.

"That's probably for other people to say. But I'm pretty proud of what we've done in the time.

"Like a player, your job as a coach is to leave [the job] better than you found it and I think we're in pretty good nick."

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