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New Zealand Rugby
Foster reveals Hansen's forward planning
ESPNscrum Staff
December 24, 2011
Steve Hansen is unveiled as All Blacks head coach, All Blacks media session, Wellington, New Zealand, December 16, 2011
Steve Hansen will lead the new All Blacks coaching set-up © Getty Images
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Ian Foster has revealed that Steve Hansen had raised the possibility of becoming a part of the new All Blacks coaching set-up approximately a year ago.

After serving as an assistant to former head coach Graham Henry, Hansen was appointed to the top job in New Zealand rugby earlier this month, while Foster was then confirmed as the new boss' right-hand man earlier this week.

The latter has now revealed that when he was entertaining the idea of leaving the country before the start of this season to coach overseas, he was persuaded from doing so by the prospect of being taken on by the All Blacks after the World Cup.

"There's been some conversations going on for a while," Foster is quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald. "The public should expect that. It should expect some pre-planning, but that doesn't mean there's any certainty about it going through.

"Certainly, Steve's spoken to me about it over the past year or so about the possibilities, but coaching is a funny business, you never know what's going to happen."

While the All Blacks' victorious World Cup campaign all but ensured that Hansen would succeed Henry as head coach given he played an integral role in the triumph, it has also placed an enormous amount of pressure on the new boss to successfully maintain the standard of excellence set by the previous regime, something Foster freely acknowledges.

"It's been a fantastic year for New Zealand rugby and going forward there is going to be high expectations and big challenges," Foster said. "There's going to be guys that need a new focus, a new challenge as players."

Some have questioned Foster's coaching credentials in light of his lack of success at Super Rugby level, but Hansen is no doubt about the former Waikato Chiefs boss' suitability to his new role.

"There's no doubt he's a good backs coach," the All Blacks coach said. "He's brought through a lot of All Blacks. He may not have won too many championships, but not a lot a of our current Super 15 coaches have."

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