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'It's about the team first' - Steve Hansen to step down as All Blacks coach after 2019 Rugby World Cup

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has today revealed his plans for the future, telling media he will step down after next year's Rugby World Cup.

Hansen, 59, has been involved with the All Blacks coaching set-up since 2004, initially serving as an assistant to Sir Graham Henry, before ascending to the position of head coach in 2012.

Addressing media in Auckland this morning, the All Blacks coach spoke about his future in the game in New Zealand, and was his trademark, blunt self in doing so.

"We're here to establish if I'm staying or going, so I'm going," he began.

"After 16 years, it's been a wonderful and a privilege to be involved in rugby in New Zealand, but I think from a New Zealand Rugby point of view, it's fair that I give them the time to have a process that allows them to not rush in finding a replacement.

"The turbulence of trying to find a replacement after a World Cup - whether it's been a good one or a bad one - is not really the way to do the process. I'm also pleased about the timing of it."

Hansen also said that by revealing his future today, he and the All Blacks can concentrate on a third straight World Cup.

"It also allows me not to be distracted by you guys asking me every five minutes if I'm staying or going. We'll be able to concentrate on what we want to do, which is win a World Cup.

"We've always said that it's about the team first, and not the individual, and for me I think it's right for the team to have someone new after this World Cup.

"Some fresh eyes, some fresh thinking. Whether that's within or outside, whoever the replacement is will be great for the enhancement of the legacy of the jersey and that's the most important thing."

As coach of the All Blacks, Hansen's record is second to none, winning 84 of 95 Tests including the 2015 Rugby World Cup with three draws, a success rate of 88.42 per cent. Hansen's predecessor Sir Graham Henry boasts a winning rate of just 85.4 per cent.


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The All Blacks coach will leave his post after next year's World Cup in Japan. Source: 1 NEWS


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