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Hansen weighs in on Foster

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Steve Hansen weighs in on potential replacement Ian Foster

Steve Hansen will not be involved in the search to find his replacement as All Blacks head coach after announcing he will step down after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew confirmed the national body would not begin the search for a new coach until after the World Cup, so as to not distract from the campaign at the showpiece tournament.

However, Hansen gave All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster a glowing review Friday’s press conference – but was unable to endorse him as his successor.

“I think he’d be a great head coach,” Hansen said of Foster. “He’s developed as a coach, and as a man. He’s got some great qualities, and his understanding of the game is great.

“But I don’t think it’s right I sit here and say this guy should do the job or that guy should do the job. That’s the Rugby Union’s job.

“I’ve got my opinions, but for one of the very few times in my life I’ll probably keep that to myself because I don’t think it’s right for the process.”

Hansen also offered his opinion on whether international experience was a requirement when looking at potential candidates.

“If you get the right person it doesn’t matter what they’ve done,” said Hansen. “I hear you guys go on about that a fair bit, you haven’t coached overseas or you haven’t done anything in Super Rugby.

“The best coach in the world at the moment in Joe Schmidt, World Rugby’s choice, he lost his job at the Blues, yet he’s developed and grown to become an outstanding coach.

“I hear things about Fozzie (Foster), that he didn’t win anything at the Chiefs, but that’s because the Crusaders were winning everything at the time. Those things are irrelevant.

“I go back to my own career. I’ve got both records: I’ve lost the most tests in a row and won the most. One day I’m a poor coach and another I’m a great coach. Things change and you evolve. You’ve just got to trust the process and trust [NZ Rugby} will do what’s right for the team.”

Hansen has been with the All Blacks since 2004, assuming the head coach role in 2012 after Sir Graham Henry left the side following the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

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Steve Hansen weighs in on potential replacement Ian Foster