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‘Must have lost a bet’: All Black reacts to Steve Hansen joining Wallabies

By Finn Morton
Steve Hansen of the All Blacks walks off following the Rugby World Cup 2019 Bronze Final match between New Zealand and Wales at Tokyo Stadium on November 01, 2019 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Lock Scott Barrett has laughed off the bombshell news that former All Blacks coach Sir Steve Hansen has joined Eddie Jones at the Wallabies ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

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The man known within rugby circles as ‘Shag’ won two Rugby World Cup titles with the All Blacks, including the drought-breaking triumph in 2011 as an assistant coach.

Hansen left the All Blacks after their unsuccessful quest for a historic three-peat at the 2019 tournament in Japan, with current coach Ian Foster taking over.

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But the legacy that Hansen left behind as a legendary All Blacks Head Coach may never be forgotten. Fans in New Zealand hold the former coach in high regard – which is what made this week’s news so shattering.

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Hansen was going to help Eddie Jones and the Wallabies ahead of the Rugby World Cup. This sent the rugby community into a frenzy on social media.

All Black Dane Coles was left “gobsmacked” and “hurt,” and New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins joked about revoking the former All Blacks coaches’ citizenship.

It’s a big deal. The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand – in any sport for that matter – is fierce. Fans couldn’t quite make sense of the news.

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In the leadup to the All Blacks’ clash with the Springboks at Twickenham, lock Scott Barrett has quipped about whether Hansen “lost a bet” before joining the Australians.

“Yeah it is a little bit surprising,” Barrett told reporters on Wednesday.

“I guess it’s professional rugby these days I guess. There must be something in it for him or he lost a bet. Something’s going on.”

Hansen and Wallabies coach Eddie Jones have battled it out in the Test arena many times, but the respect that they share for one another is clear. The two are actually good mates.

But just like Barrett, All Blacks coach Ian Foster has seen the funny side of this perceived coaching saga.

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Speaking with reporters, coach Foster joked that Hansen had “agreed to give me three pages of notes about everything that’s going on in their campaign.”

“I chuckle at the headlines, you guys must be pretty excited by it,” Foster said. “He told me a month ago that he was going in.

“He’s good mates with Eddie… there’s no lack of trust at all about his lack of commitment to us and to what we do and sharing stuff. I’ve got no issues really, in fact, we might bring him in for a couple of days ourselves.”

The former All Blacks coach confirmed on Newstalk ZB that he’d only be joining the Wallabies “for about three to four days at the request of Eddie.”

But some rugby fans are still questioning whether it’s the right move for Hansen to make. It’s an opinion that former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons described as “bu******.”

“I’ll speak honestly for a moment, it’s absolutely bu******,” FitzSimons told Martin Devlin on The Platform.

“Steve Hansen is a great rugby man… World Rugby needs Australian rugby to be strong and Steve Hansen is not passing over any messages of All Blacks secrets.

“What he’s doing, he’s wandering around and having a bit of a chat – that’s it. There are no meetings at midnight.

“He was talking to me about the virtues of culture, of a culture where you know each other, you like each other, old school rugby values, and the All Blacks have been terrific on that kind of stuff.”

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finn 4 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

12 Go to comments
S
Simon 7 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

31 Go to comments
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