All Blacks opt for Hansen
Published 16/12/2011 | 08:42
New Zealand's worst-kept sporting secret was finally revealed on Friday when Steve Hansen was announced as the new All Blacks head coach.
Hansen has been appointed on a two-year deal along with one assistant coach who will be named next week.
The former All Blacks attacking coach is elated to have won the top job, and said: "No words can explain how humbling, how honoured it is to be given the opportunity to be the All Blacks coach. From a coaching point of view, in this sport it's the greatest honour you can receive. It comes with a huge amount of responsibility."
He added: "All I can say is I'm a passionate New Zealander, passionate about New Zealand rugby and passionate about the All Black jersey and its legacy.
"I look forward to the next two years and achieving things with this team and enhancing that legacy and taking it forward."
It has been a long wait in the wings for the former Canterbury coach, who was first appointed as Graham Henry's assistant coach in 2004.
Hansen was initially the forwards coach in the All Blacks set-up before a shake-up at the end of 2009 saw him become the new attacking coach.
The results were immediate, including a Tri Nations/Bledisloe Cup double before another Grand Slam victory.