All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says he will make an announcement about his future next month with his contract set to expire after the 2019 World Cup.
Hansen’s All Blacks have a final tour game to play against Italy in Rome next Saturday, following their loss to Joe Schmidt’s Ireland.
Ironically, Schmidt’s contract is also up after the World Cup and he is one of the coaches rumoured to be in line to succeed Hansen.
‘We’re all going to be making announcements shortly,’ Hansen told the media after the loss against Ireland. ‘Not right now … I decided before I left that I was going to make one and I’ll do that when I get home at some stage around Christmas.’
Hansen again expressed an admiration for Schmidt’s side and how they have improved.
‘They’re fitter, so whoever is doing their conditioning work needs a pat on the back. Their defence is great. Both teams last night defended for long periods really, really well, so Andy [Farrell] is a great defence coach.
‘Their scrum was good, it took us a while to get on top of that. So everybody in the team is doing their bit and Joe is obviously leading it very well. They’ve become a team that believes in themselves and are priding themselves on how they’re playing.’