RWC 2019

The Rugby Championship 2016

Will he or won’t he? All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to make decision on future before Rugby Championship

The 57-year-old’s contract expires at the end of next year but NZ Rugby and senior players want him to continue through 2019 World Cup in Japan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 July, 2016, 6:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 July, 2016, 3:13am

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will make a decision on his future with the side before this year’s Rugby Championship begins in August.

The 57-year-old’s contract with New Zealand Rugby expires at the end of next year but both the organisation and All Blacks senior players have stated they want him to continue through the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Hansen said after last year’s successful World Cup campaign that he would step down at the end of 2017 but has since said he was considering extending his contract.

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

“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 rugby union, and can I still get up in the morning and motivate myself and the team to improve?

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“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.

“There’s one or two I’ve just got to ask myself yet and we’ll make a decision before the Rugby Championship.”

The All Blacks, who have won 52 of their 57 tests under Hansen with only three losses, begin their Rugby Championship campaign against the Wallabies in Sydney on Aug. 20.

Hansen’s side completed a 3-0 series sweep of Wales last month in which he gave several younger players an opportunity to cement their place head of next year’s British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.

Wales coach Warren Gatland is expected to lead the Lions in New Zealand next year despite suggestions Eddie Jones, who has engineered England’s recent resurgence, could land the task.

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“Gatland should be the frontrunner. He’s taken the Lions away before and been successful with them, but who knows?” Hansen said. Gatland led the Lions’ to a 2-1 series victory in Australia in 2013.

“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.”