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Hansen announces All Blacks exit in 2019

Moving on: Steve Hansen will leave after the World Cup
Moving on: Steve Hansen will leave after the World Cup

By Robert Jones

Steve Hansen will leave his role as New Zealand head coach with his record "unsurpassed", according to All Blacks chairman Brent Impey.

Hansen announced yesterday that his all-conquering reign in charge of New Zealand will end after the defence of their World Cup title in Japan next year.

The 59-year-old has coached New Zealand since 2012 and has been in the system for 16 years having been an assistant prior to replacing Graham Henry.

New Zealand have won 85 of his 96 Tests in charge and won the 2015 World Cup as well as the Rugby Championship in every year barring 2015.

"On behalf of the New Zealand rugby board, I'd like to thank Steve for his enormous contribution. He's hugely respected, and will leave the job as one of the greatest ever All Blacks coaches," Impey said in a statement.

"His record is unsurpassed. The All Blacks hold all the major trophies we play for, he played a critical role in the back-to-back World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015, and we wish him and the team all the very best next year."

Hansen's decision could lead to Joe Schmidt taking over.

The 53-year-old Kiwi has built an Ireland side many believe could topple New Zealand in Japan. He will leave after the World Cup, like England coach Eddie Jones and Wales boss Warren Gatland will do also.

For Hansen, he wants to spend more time with his family.

"After being involved in the All Blacks for 16 years, it's right for the team for me to stand down. Change after the World Cup will bring a new outlook for the team," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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