Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says the Covid-19 pandemic has given rugby the opportunity to ‘start on a blank page’ and bring nations together.
In a wide-ranging interview with WalesOnline, the World Cup-winning coach – who ended his association with the All Blacks last year – spoke passionately about the sports shutdown.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a global halt to the rugby calendar, causing national rugby unions and franchises alike to introduce salary cuts to survive the period financially.
However, it has also brought the opportunity to reassess some of rugby’s fundamental aspects – particularly with the upcoming elections for World Rugby chairman.
Like a number of national coaches, Hansen sent out a warning that national unions need to put their self-interest aside to get something positive from the shutdown.
‘We have an opportunity now to start with a blank page because you have got everybody putting self-interest to the side,’ Hansen told WalesOnline. ‘They know they could be gone if they don’t do the right thing.
‘So it’s a great opportunity to bring everybody together, north, south, individual countries and do what it is right for the game. It’s been a long time coming because it’s been needed for quite some time.
‘There has been a lot of self-interest and if we don’t do the right thing we could lose the game and that would be a tragedy,’ he added.
‘We have lost our way in rugby a little bit and we haven’t been working well enough together.
‘Maybe this pandemic has caused a crisis that means we have to. If that’s the case, then that’s one positive to come out of something that’s pretty ordinary.’
Photo: Getty Images