africanpure

Hansen to leave: Highs and highs of his All Blacks reign

Steve Hansen has announced that he will step down as New Zealand head coach following next year’s Rugby World Cup.

A hugely successful tenure will conclude at the end of 2019 after Hansen bids to guide the All Blacks to a third consecutive world title.

The side’s 2015 triumph was the 59-year-old’s finest hour as head coach, while there have also been six Rugby Championship successes.

Hansen has been central to the achievements of one of the world’s finest sporting teams since his days as an assistant. We present a timeline of his lengthy stint on New Zealand’s coaching staff.

 

July 2005: A year into his role as an assistant to All Blacks boss Graham Henry, former Wales coach Hansen helped New Zealand dominate the British and Irish Lions in a 3-0 series win.

October 2007: The team of Henry and Hansen proved less effective as they failed to end New Zealand’s 20-year wait for a world title, losing to hosts France in the RWC quarter-finals.

October 2011: Still working under Henry, Hansen played a role in their belated 2011 RWC final victory against France and was hotly tipped to replace the coach as his contract expired at the end of the year. That appointment was subsequently confirmed in December.

June 2012: Hansen made a sublime start to life in the hot seat. The All Blacks defeated Ireland in each of his first three matches in charge, the final match of the series a 60-0 drubbing of the visitors in Hamilton.

September 2012: The first major honour of Hansen’s senior coaching career saw New Zealand claim the Rugby Championship title. He ended 2012 as the World Rugby Coach of the Year – an honour he has since scooped on three further occasions.

November 2013: Another Rugby Championship triumph and another Coach of the Year award followed, but Hansen’s most remarkable achievement in 2013 saw him guide the All Blacks through a perfect year. They won 14 of 14 Tests, edging Ireland in their final match of the season.

August 2015: The first and perhaps only major setback of Hansen’s time in charge of New Zealand saw the team fail to retain their title in a shortened Rugby Championship. Australia pipped the All Blacks in a decisive third match.

October 2015: Revenge was swift and sweet for Hansen. New Zealand defeated the Wallabies in the RWC final to become the first side to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.

July 2016: Hansen overcame the retirements of the likes of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw, successfully bringing through several future stars before he was reappointed as the All Blacks’ head coach through the next RWC cycle.

July 2017: New Zealand’s progress was checked slightly as the Lions excelled on their latest tour. A dramatic draw in the final Test saw the series end level at 1-1.

December 2018: Just over two months after the All Blacks secured another Rugby Championship triumph, their third in a row and sixth in seven years under Hansen, their coach announced his plan to stand down after next year’s World Cup.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

Related Posts

Crusaders preparing for emotional Super Rugby return
Vunipola defends captain Farrell
PRB confirms all four Welsh regions will remain next season