England coach Eddie Jones has pointed out a key reason why Steve Hansen is one of the great rugby coaches.
In his autobiography My Life and Rugby, Jones noted that the former All Blacks coach is one a rugby rarity – a coach who has had a successful career after winning the World Cup.
While Hansen couldn’t win a third straight World Cup – knocked out in the semifinals by Jones’ England – Jones believes his international success after winning in 2015 puts him above some of the other World Cup-winning coaches.
“Apart from Steve Hansen, it seems as if anyone who has won a World Cup has not gone on to coach again with any great success,” Jones wrote.
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“Rod Macqueen did exceptional work when Australia became world champions but, two years later, he stepped away from the game for a long time. His return with the Rebels in Melbourne did not go well. Clive Woodward led the Lions on a disastrous tour of New Zealand, in 2005, and never coached again. Jake White won the World Cup with South Africa in 2007 but his subsequent career has not been a roaring success. Graham Henry masterminded the All Blacks belated victory in 2011. Since then he has helped Argentina as an assistant coach and has worked as a consultant.
“It’s very difficult to sustain the intensity of World Cup success.”
Jones includes himself in that mix, having lost the World Cup final when coaching the Wallabies in 2003. While he made it back to the final with England in 2019, Jones thought he should have dealt with the 2003 defeat differently.
“I would not change many things about my life but, if I could, this would be one. I should have resigned after the final. I should have walked away on a relative high and taken a break from the game. It was a mistake to continue but, in retrospect, I understand how much I was struggling. I wanted to atone for that heartbreaking loss by winning the next tournament. This happens when you come close and fall just short.
“You carry the burden of defeat with you for the next few years. It might be buried deep inside you, but it twists your thinking.”
Earlier this year, Jones gave a heartfelt tribute to his good friend when Hansen stood down as All Blacks coach.
He may have flown to the other end of the world for Christmas but Wales' new boss is still on the clock by the sounds of it https://t.co/djTOHN4avU
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 24, 2019
“He is a great coach,” said Jones. “I first coached against him in 1997. He was coaching the Crusaders and I was coaching the Brumbies. He is a great rugby man and he will go down as one of the great All Black coaches.
“The thing that has always impressed me about him is that he always looks to see what is best for the game and he is going to be missed.
“I am sure there are going to be opportunities for him. I know he is coming back here and coaching at Toyota. And I am sure he is going to get involved in helping World Rugby.
“He is a great rugby man. A great rugby man.”
Eddie Jones has issued a stark warning for the All Blacks now that Steve Hansen has departed:
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