Hansen extends All Blacks contract

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has been reappointed through to the 2019 World Cup.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said it had been easy for the board to make a unanimous decision to extend Hansen's current contract from 2017 to 2019.

'Steve's winning record is unsurpassed in the modern era. Since becoming head coach in 2012, he has recorded 52 wins in his 57 Tests to date, with two draws and just three losses. That's remarkable and unparalleled in international rugby.'

Hansen said he was very honoured and grateful to the New Zealand Rugby board and Steve Tew to be given the opportunity to extend his contract.

'It was never going to be an easy decision nor a foregone conclusion that I would extend my contract. As I've said many times before, it had to be right for my family, for myself and for the team.

'In speaking to my family, they've all given me their wholehearted support and I'm very thankful for that, because you just couldn't do this job without that.

'In asking the important questions of myself, I had to be confident, firstly, in my own mind that I still had the passion, drive and commitment to keep pushing this team to improve and be better.  The recent series against the Welsh confirmed to me that I still had that internal motivation.

'The second question I had asked myself was: could I improve as a coach? And I believe I can, and must, as I will be asking others to do the same.

'With regard to the team, I spoke to a number of players and management to get their thoughts on what would be right for the team going forward and I received unanimous feedback from them that it was right for me to continue.

'Once I had confirmed all three of those considerations, it really was a no-brainer to continue, because, as a coach, there is no better job in rugby than coaching your own national team, particularly one that is as successful as this All Blacks team has been.'

Hansen also said he was thrilled to be leading the All Blacks through until the 2019 World Cup.

'Having the opportunity to be part of a team that will be trying to win three consecutive World Cups is both an invigorating and exciting challenge and one I'm very much looking forward to being part of.

'However, while the continuation of my contract will put a focus on the World Cup, it's the immediate future that we need to focus on and we're all looking forward to getting back together for the Rugby Championship and re-establishing the team, following the June series.'

Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

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Simon Borchardt