Speculation continues to surround just who will be the All Blacks head coach following the Rugby World Cup, after Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ruled himself out on Sunday with the announcement he will step down from coaching and prioritise his family commitments.
It has long been theorised that Ian Foster will take over the All Blacks coaching job, in the same fashion as Hansen did himself, moving from an assistant coach and taking the head coaching role. Given the All Blacks unprecedented success over this period, it makes sense that the same approach would be taken again.
It was reported by the New Zealand Herald that Schmidt himself turned down multiple approaches to join Hansen’s staff as an assistant while head coach of Ireland, which would have put him in a similar position to be given time to be considered as a ‘head coach in waiting’.
While Hansen was expected to step down at some point in time, it has now been proposed by former Irish international Alan Quinlan that he will be promoted into a newly created Director of Rugby role with NZR.
“I spoke to Jeff Wilson last week and I was asking him and Justin Marshall: ‘What’s the talk back home in New Zealand?’,” Quinlan said on the Off the Ball AM show.
“Both of them were saying there’s no major talk of Joe Schmidt coming back. They know what he’s achieving and people know he’s doing really well in Ireland. The talk is that Steve Hansen is going up as a director of rugby and then there will be a possibility of a vacant head coach position.”
“There’s talk that a similar scenario is happening with Ian Foster and he’ll step up and take the head coach role – with Hansen moving up into that Director of Rugby role.”
Steve Hansen is expected to make an announcement on his future on December 17 in Christchurch.
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