Hansen searching for passion in World Cup lead up
April 12, 2014
Hansen has said only the passionate need apply for the World Cup campaign © Getty Images
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has told Fairfax Media, "you need people there who will do whatever it takes" in order to win a consecutive Rugby World Cup. In the seven-tournament history, no side has managed to defend the William Webb Ellis and Hanson has revealed this has been a major focus for his team management.
"There are a few inconvenient facts around the Rugby World Cup in that nobody has won two in a row, so we are having a good look at the reasons why that is and what we can do to possibly change that and start implementing some of those things now," Hansen said. "When you are a team that's been at the top for a long time you don't have the mental attitude quite right and there is an expectation that, 'we will go and do this'. I think New Zealand's fallen in to that trap at previous World Cups."
Hansen hinted a lack of passion would also be considered alongside form in the early auditions for next year's World Cup squad and is looking for signs this season that players till have the same drive they did in the build up to the 2011 tournament.
"When you've had success sometimes it's hard for certain people to replicate the sacrifices needed to go and do that. That's one of the things we have to work hard at," he said. "We've got to make the challenge so exciting and so big that people want to make the same sacrifice they made in 2011 when we would've done anything to win the thing.
"I don't know if you need new blood necessarily, but you need people there who will do whatever it takes. That's about the coaching staff and the rest of the management creating an environment that will drive the challenge to the point where people realise if they don't meet it they won't be in the group. One thing I know about this All Blacks team is the tougher the challenge the better they go."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup