He might be coaching royalty in New Zealand but Steve Hansen’s been given a prod from his successor to leave the All Blacks alone.
Hansen’s shock decision to accept a new job as a high performance consultant with the Bulldogs has left everyone on both sides of the Tasman shaking their heads in disbelief that he would join the 13-player code.
After winning two World Cups with the All Blacks, one as an assistant and another as head coach, Hansen’s stocks in New Zealand are so high that he can do anything he wants – but with one big exception, as the current All Blacks coach Ian Foster was quick to remind him.
“I’m excited for him. I’m sure he’ll do that stuff really, really well, working with other coaches,” Foster said.
“I had a call with him today and told him I’d banned all our backs answering any calls they get from him.
“It’ll be great for him and I know personally his ability to assist young coaches and help them grow is going to be fantastic so I’m sure that the Bulldogs will benefit greatly from him.”
Meanwhile, Hansen says he’s confident he can offer the right tools to aid in the revival of the Bulldogs, despite his lack of NRL experience.
Speaking to Bulldogs media, Hansen said it won’t be a problem and he was merely brought on to “coach the coach”.
“Coaching’s coaching I think. I don’t have to understand the nuts and bolts of the game because I’m not coaching the game, I’m just helping coach the coach and his group,” he says.
“I think that’s the same in any sport, if you get certain things right you’re going to get the environment you need to be successful.
“Looking forward to joining up with it, it’s an exciting challenge for myself it’s a different sport.”
The double World Cup winner mirrors a path he implored during his hugely successful time at the helm of the All Blacks – bringing a fresh outlook into training camp with the inclusion of personalities from others sports.
“[I’ve] always been open to having people come in and visit us from other sports, and league’s taken advantage of that. We’ve had Laurie Daley, we’ve had Craig Bellamy, we’ve had Ivan Cleary and Trent, just to name a few people,” he says.
“It’s an opportunity for them to see how we operate, but just as much an opportunity for us to see and learn off them so it’s a two way thing. From that you form relationships.”
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