Former New Zealand Rugby CEO David Moffett believes Steve Hansen and his All Blacks coaching staff stayed on two years too long, and it cost them the Rugby World Cup.

Speaking to Martin Devlin on Newstalk ZB, Moffett argued that New Zealand Rugby should have taken plenty of lessons from the All Blacks’ semifinal exit at the World Cup, and that the applicants to replace Hansen as head coach should be able to highlight what went wrong in the build-up.

“The thing I’d be looking for is what vision they have for the future of New Zealand rugby, and what learnings have they taken from the last two years,” Moffett told Devlin.

“I have a lot of respect for Hansen but I think he and the people with him went on for two years too long.

“For the past 12 months, I don’t think they’ve known who is their best side. I think that was shown in their selections for their game against England, and I don’t think they knew what their best gameplan was.”

Moffett, who was the NZR boss from 1996-2000, believes now is the time to bring in a fresh face for the All Blacks’ top job.

“What there is a real opportunity now to do is inject some real enthusiasm to the All Blacks, and that will start with the coaching team.

“I actually think we need some fresh young new thinking into the All Blacks system.”

Moffett, who said the successful applicant should get a four-year deal with an out clause for both parties, says the key in hiring the right person would be finding someone who could work together strongly with the NZR chairman Brent Impey and CEO Mark Robinson.

“If you’ve got those three in sync, you’re halfway there, and that’s why Impey and Robinson have got to have the biggest say in the selection of the coach.

“If the wheels fall off the All Blacks because they got the coach wrong, it will rest with two people – the chairman and the chief executive.

“The guy under the most pressure in that room is Mark Robinson. If he just goes along with everybody else and gets it wrong, that will be on his CV forever. He needs to stand up and make his mark – he gets one chance to do this.

“Getting the right coach to coach the All Blacks is likely the biggest decision he’s ever going to make.”

This article first appeared on the NZ Herald and is re-published with permission here. 


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