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Will Steve Hansen stay on as All Black coach?

Will Steve Hansen make the call to stay on after the World Cup?

NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew has confirmed that the All Black head coaching job will be discussed at their December board meeting.

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He also hinted in an interview with Stuff that if incumbent Steve Hansen wishes to stay on past the 2019 Rugby World Cup, ‘he’ll be a strong contender.’

Hansen has not yet confirmed his plans after the Japan tournament, where the All Blacks will look to defend the title won in 1987, 2011 and 2015. However the prevailing thought is that if he were to step aside, assistant coach Ian Foster would be the frontrunner for the role.

Foster has now had five seasons in the All Black set up and it’s widely thought that a transitional process has already begun for him to take over. That hasn’t stopped rumours of the likes of Joe Schmidt, Vern Cotter, Dave Rennie and Warren Gatland making a challenge for the head coaching role when the World Cup is over, though.

“But we will have a clearly outlined process. The reality is you finish a Rugby World Cup in October and the next All Blacks game is not till June. There’s a reasonable amount of time, and the issue will be how that fits into the decision-making time-table of anyone else who wants to be All Blacks coach.”

Tew said there was a long list of standout contenders coaching both abroad and in New Zealand, and admitted a policy tweak was likely to allow offshore-based people to be considered.

“We’re going to talk about that. We need to make sure the best coaches possible are available to be appointed to that role. I think keeping Ian Foster in our midst has been very good if you are talking about obvious succession planning. He is one option who doesn’t have a head start or a disadvantage in any way, but he is clearly making a statement because he’s been a very important part of an incredibly successful era.

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Tew kept his cards close to his chest when pressed on the issue, but also hinted that any of those names could feature in some sort of capacity.

“We’re going to talk about that. We need to make sure the best coaches possible are available to be appointed to that role. I think keeping Ian Foster in our midst has been very good if you are talking about obvious succession planning. He is one option who doesn’t have a head start or a disadvantage in any way, but he is clearly making a statement because he’s been a very important part of an incredibly successful era.

“We have a number of very good coaches around the world and a number doing other jobs in New Zealand and we will need more than one coach.”

 

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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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