Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to announce future

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to announce future

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt turned down an offer to work under his New Zealand counterpart Steve Hansen in 2017.

Assistant coach Ian Foster is the favourite to take over from Hansen.

The All Black and Highlanders outside back has signed with French club Pau and will leave New Zealand after next year's Rugby World Cup.

The Kiwi has been in charge of Ireland since 2013 and has masterminded two victories against his homeland.

Philips Lighting Ireland named Joe Smith, Irish Rugby Coach as victor of the Philips Lighting Sports Manager of the Year for 2018.

"Whatever decision you make, you never say never".

Hansen comes off contract with New Zealand Rugby after the tournament in Japan, which runs next September and October. "For me that's 11 months [through to the World Cup] and I'm not looking any more forward than that".

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In his departing statement, Schmidt said that he would be stepping away from coaching to spend time with his family, but speaking today in Dublin after he was announced as the Philips Manager of the Year, he left the door open for a possible future role with his home country. 'I think change after the World Cup will bring a new outlook for the team and it'll be time for someone else to enhance the legacy of the All Blacks'.

The move comes after a decade of top-level rugby for Smith, who has played 76 tests for the All Blacks and 144 games for the Highlanders. In the head coach's unique parlance, those performances were probably best "flushed down the dunny" as the team now builds for Japan next year.

'It's been a huge privilege to be part of the All Blacks for such a long time and I'm really looking forward to, and excited by the challenges, of the next 12 months.

Hansen said he wanted to make the announcement about his future now so that New Zealand Rugby had plenty of time to identify a successor.

Hansen joined the All Blacks team in 2004 as an assistant to Sir Graham Henry.

He has built a remarkable record since succeeding Henry in the top job, winning over 90 per cent of test matches as well as overseeing the successful defence of the World Cup in 2015.

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