We Need to Talk: What's next for Steve Hansen?

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Friday, 14 December 2018, 2:23PM

He's going, it's official; All Black coach Steve Hansen's last game in charge will also be the team's final game at next year's Rugby World Cup.

So now we know. And that is also all we know. Whether the man stays on in some other role or not who knows?

Although reading his body language during the presser then yakking to him for some minutes afterwards I get the feeling that this will be it, the Japanese tournament the swansong to what's already been a record-breaking career.

But! And it's a sizeable one at that, everything for him now rides on the success or not of this upcoming World Cup.

Because as we know, the All Blacks are only ever rated and assessed on their last most recent performance.

As to who will succeed the man, the answer to that question remains as elusive as ever.

The only thing we do know is that the "formal" process to find a replacement won't  begin 'til after the WC, "informal" discussions with potential suitors have already begun and will continue to take place up until that time - whatever all that means.

I think if we can read anything into the official statement it's that no-one is being yet ruled out and please don't continue to ask because we have nothing more to say until we tell you that we do.

As for the speculation that Mr Hansen may take up some newly-created over-arching role, I think we can kill that rumour off forthwith.

In all matters like these the biggest clue you normally get given is usually provided by someone personally involved either family or close friend and after talking with Tash (Mrs Hansen) I get the overwhelming feeling that the two of them are looking forward to finally getting a life together.

A normal life. A life away from the continuous glare, pressure and spotlight. A chance to reconvene with those who perhaps haven't had the time deserved them over more than a decade where their father, brother, husband and friend has always been otherwise engaged.

After this long living in the micro-bubble that is the world of being All Black coach, the man wants a life and who can blame him. Now whether that life is forever lived with a giant, annoying rock under his beach towel, I guess we'll find that out around the same time we also find out who will replace him. 


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