New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew has cleared up rumours surrounding All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen in an interview with Stuff.
Tew denied reports that a director of rugby role has been created in an attempt to lure Hansen and quashed rumours that the coach had already been offered a two-year extension to remain as coach of the All Blacks.
According to Stuff Tew confirmed that he is expecting a decision on Hansens’s future before the end of the year. His current contract expires after next year’s Rugby World Cup.
“Steve has now signalled he will make a decision and announcement before the end of the year on what his preferred future will be,” Tew said. “That’s helpful. We’ve obviously heard [Ireland’s Kiwi coach] Joe Schmidt do the same thing, so that’s another piece of information that gets fed into it.
“Steve has been very clear he wanted to have some time after the tour to sit back and reflect and talk to his family. He didn’t want to distract from the tour, and I think he’ll leave it till after the ASB awards as well because that’s another focus for other people.”
Tew also detailed the approach New Zealand Rugby are taking while Hansen considers his coaching future.
“The board hasn’t made a call on the reappointment of Steve… that’s another conversation we’d have to have when we know what his thinking is,” Tew said. “All I’ve said to our team, because we’re the ones communicating this, is that we should prepare as though we’re looking for a coach, and then we’re ready. And if we don’t need to then that’s fine but at least be ready for it.”
Tew dispelled rumours that made their way from Ireland after former Irish test player Alan Quinlan claimed during a radio appearance that NZR were preparing a new ‘director of rugby’ role to entice Hansen into staying. Quinlan cited a conversation with former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson.
“Last time I looked Marshy and Goldie weren’t running NZ Rugby,” Tew said. “I’m not sure where that information came from. We are not working on a director of rugby role as I speak.”
Tew said a recent report that claimed Hansen had been offered a two-year contract extension was “not true”.
He also confirmed that no one on the coaching staff has been offered anything beyond 2019.
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