New Zealand rugby
NZRU extends Hansen contract
April 9, 2013
Steve Hansen has enjoyed a successful stint as New Zealand coach © Getty Images
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has announced that Steve Hansen had been reappointed to the position of All Blacks head coach.
Hansen, who was initially appointed All Blacks coach last year on a two-year contract, will now coach the side through to the IRB Rugby World Cup in 2015.
The announcement by NZR CEO Steve Tew was made at a media conference at New Zealand Rugby House in Wellington on Wednesday.
"I want to congratulate Steve on his reappointment," Tew said. "He had an outstanding first year as head coach and his coaching and leadership helped the team build on its exceptional legacy: the team won 12 of their 14 Test matches last year, won the Steinlager Series and Investec Rugby Championship and retained the Bledisloe Cup, as well as their number one world ranking," he said.
Tew said the reappointment of Hansen, who won the International Rugby Board (IRB) and Steinlager Coach of the Year awards last year, had been unanimously endorsed by the NZRU Board at a recent meeting.
He said while Hansen and his fellow selectors Ian Foster and Grant Fox had last year concentrated on the "here and now", they had also kept one eye on the future, introducing nine new players into the All Blacks.
"Having the All Blacks go back-to-back at Rugby World Cup is one of the key goals for our organisation over the next three years and we look forward to working with Steve and the rest of the All Blacks team to help them achieve that goal."
Hansen said he was delighted to be given the opportunity to continue coaching the All Blacks.
"I would like to thank the Board for their support and endorsement in giving me an extended contract through to the end of Rugby World Cup 2015. I am looking forward to not only the challenges that are coming this year, but right through to 2015. Having the opportunity to try and recapture the Webb Ellis Cup is something that I'm really excited by," Hansen said.
"Our focus as always will be on enhancing the All Blacks legacy. In doing that, it will be about not only winning Test matches today but also making sure we have the experience and personnel to win Test matches tomorrow and beyond."
Hansen said while the team had been very happy with its results last year, it realises that it must also grow.
"We have to keep growing both our leadership experience, so that we have more players who can make good decisions in the big moments, and we need to grow our game so we stay in front rather than allowing others to catch up.
"We also need to get our timing right when it comes to introducing more new faces into the team. In saying that, clearly it will make the next few years tougher than last year, but that's something we are looking forward to."