Steve Hansen has reportedly been presented an offer to remain as the All Blacks head coach after next year’s Rugby World Cup.
According to The New Zealand Herald, Hansen has a two-year extension on the table that would keep him with the team through 2021 should he choose to accept. His current contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Hansen has remained tight-lipped in regards to his coaching future, but has indicated that he will make a decision by Christmas.
“I decided before I left [New Zealand] I was going to make one,” Hansen told media after the match. “And I will do that when I get home at some stage, before Christmas.”
Fellow Kiwi and current Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt had been the favourite to succeed Hansen should he step away from his current role, though he has since indicated he plans to step away from coaching entirely following Ireland’s 2019 World Cup campaign for family reasons.
Hansen currently boasts a win record of close to 90 per cent.
Other favourites for the position should Hansen step away include All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, who has worked under Hansen since 2012, and Montpellier coach Vern Cotter, who interviewed for Hansen’s position after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
It has also been rumoured that if Hansen does step away from the head coaching role, he may remain involved in some capacity as New Zealand Rugby’s ‘Director of Rugby’.
Former Ireland test player Alan Quinlan recently appeared on the On The Ball AM show and claimed to have details about NZR’s succession plan after speaking with a pair of former All Blacks.
“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,” Quinlan said.
The All Blacks wrapped up their 2018 campaign with a 66-3 victory over Italy last weekend.
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