Steve Hansen’s lengthy reign as All Blacks boss finished with their bronze medal victory over Wales in Tokyo – and he used his final post-match media conference to fire a parting shot at the Six Nations for financially hindering rugby’s global growth. 


Six Nations bosses were to blame earlier this year for forcing World Rugby to bin its revolutionary Nations Championship concept that aimed to shake up the Test rugby calendar and spread more money throughout the game. 

Stepping away from a Test arena where he first became an All Blacks assistant in 2004 after earning his stripes coaching Wales, Hansen admitted that he fears the financial muscle of the self-interested northern hemisphere countries. 

“I don’t think that [financial status] is new,” he said following New Zealand’s 40-17 win. “The northern hemisphere has always had the say about what happens. 

“The Six Nations have been doing that for years. That’s one of the issues with our game. We need to become a global game and make decisions that are right for the game rather than what’s right for a region.

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“So that’s a big challenge for us and our game. We need to put personal desires to the side and do what’s right for the game, and we struggle with that a wee bit at the moment.”

Hansen signed off claiming he was proud with how his All Blacks had reacted after a difficult week coming to terms with their semi-final defeat to England. “I’d just like to say how proud I am of our team. There was a lot of external talk about not wanting to play this game (versus Wales). 

“We’ve come off an extremely disappointing result against England, where we got beaten by a team that played better than us on the day, but we have come back and showed some real character and commitment to the jersey, so hopefully we’ve made a lot of New Zealanders proud.


I’d like to commend Wales, they came to play and it was a good game of footy. The game is bigger than all of us and we’re continually trying to capture people to become part of it.

“If you come with the intent to play and look to try to score tries like both teams did today, we can capture more and more people and get them excited about the game.

“Lastly, I’d like to wish England and South Africa all the very best. We will have a new world champion and we will commend them for their efforts because it is a very hard tournament to win.”

WATCH: World Rugby’s highlights as New Zealand beat Wales in Tokyo

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