Hansen confirmed as All Blacks coach
December 16, 2011
Steve Hansen has taken over from Graham Henry © Getty Images
New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) have officially unveiled Steve Hansen as the new head coach of the All Blacks.
Hansen was announced as Graham Henry's successor in Wellington on Friday afternoon, ending weeks of speculation linking the former assistant to the main role. The confirmation comes nine years after Hansen replaced Henry as Wales' head coach, and the 52-year-old says he is delighted with the NZRU's decision.
"I have huge pride in New Zealand rugby and I'm passionate about the All Blacks and New Zealand," Hansen said.
"I feel humbled and proud to be given the opportunity to lead the team into its next phase. My aim will be to leave the team in a better shape than how I found it and to enhance its legacy."
Hansen earned the role over Clermont coach Vern Cotter by a unanimous decision made by the NZRU board. His contract will run for the next two years, but it is understood Hansen will likely stay on to defend the All Blacks' World Cup title in 2015.
"He is an outstanding coach and has been a key part of a hugely successful All Blacks team since becoming an assistant coach in 2004," NZRU Chairman Mike Eagle said. "He has huge respect and backing from the team and his peers and is the right man to now lead the team."
Hansen will appoint just one assistant at a later date, with former Chiefs coach Ian Foster, former Canterbury coach Aussie McLean and All Blacks kicking coach Mick Byrne believed to be among the favourites.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra