Hansen announced Friday that he would be stepping aside after next year’s Rugby World Cup and said he was unsure of what his plans are for after that campaign.
Members of the British press have earmarked Hansen as an ideal candidate to coach the Lions when they tour South Africa in 2021.
Writing in a column for The Times, John Westerby envisions Hansen taking up a consultancy role with a developing nation but can’t look past the “mouthwatering possibility” of him heading the Lions tour in 2021.
“[It’s] one which would enable him to remain active towards the top of the game, to work with some of the world’s leading players, without boosting the fortunes of one of the All Blacks’ rivals,” Westerby writes.
“So why not Hansen? Working with the best of British would not require him to bring the secrets of the All Blacks’ playbook to the northern hemisphere and he has plentiful knowledge of playing against the Springboks.”
“The previous Lions series did not go according to plan for Hansen, a drawn series seen as a disappointing result for his All Blacks side on home soil. It would be quite some tale if he were to be more successful in the next Lions series, this time leading the side wearing red.”
“In a sport dominated by a handful of nations, there are not enough coaches around with a successful international track record to overlook.
“But he would have his work cut out in persuading Hansen, not least because of the All Blacks’ preference for keeping their secrets safe when their former coaches are on the market.”
Warren Gatland has coached the Lions for their last two tours between coaching Wales.
Hansen has been in charge of the All Blacks since 2012, but has been involved with the team since 2004.
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