New Zealand Rugby
Assistants will be crucial - Hansen
ESPNscrum Staff
December 17, 2011
Steve Hansen is unveiled as All Blacks head coach, All Blacks media session, Wellington, New Zealand, December 16, 2011
Steve Hansen succeeds Graham Henry as All Blacks head coach © Getty Images

Steve Hansen will demand his assistant coaches scrutinise and challenge his ideas in order to maximise the All Blacks' potential.

The new All Blacks head coach will name his assistants soon with former Chiefs coach Ian Foster, former Canterbury coach Aussie McLean and All Blacks kicking coach Mick Byrne believed to be among the favourites. Hansen, who succeeded Graham Henry, is eager for his new coaching team to assume much of the responsibility and challenge his authority at the right times.

"Keeping an environment where you have honest and open debate so you can turn good ideas into great ideas is extremely important," he told the Dominion Post. "As head coach, your role is to sit back and let others challenge your initial thought process and from that you develop a plan better than the one initially tabled.

"That's something that's different for me and that's why in searching for the coaches I've looked for, I wanted people who could take up that role."

It was originally suggested that Hansen would employ just one assistant coach. However, with the 52-year-old freeing himself from coaching the forwards, there appear to be several vacancies within the new set up.

"I won't be the forwards coach, my role will be facilitating over the top of the coaching group and, more specifically, I'll be looking after game strategy," explained Hansen.

"There will need to be a defence coach because that's what Wayne [Smith] did and he's no longer here, we'll need someone to do the scrums and that might be me, and if that's the case, we'll need someone to take the line-out.

"I'm confident I have people in the group who can cover all of that and there will obviously be a coach who can do back attack."

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said the coaching team should be announced by the end of next week.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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