Hansen: World Rugby shouldn’t dictate who we play

Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says World Rugby would not have enough courage to kick the team out of the World Cup if they started scheduling their own Test matches.

In an interview with Stuff.co.nz, Hansen expressed his frustration at World Rugby’s reluctance to introduce a global calendar and revenue-sharing model that would earn New Zealand Rugby some money from the All Blacks’ Tests in Europe.

The World Cup-winning coach went on to suggest that World Rugby would not dare to punish New Zealand Rugby for breaking rank and scheduling their own Test matches for the All Blacks.

‘[New Zealand Rugby] turn around and say, “World Rugby won’t dictate who we have to play, other than maybe a tier-two nation”,’ Hansen said.

‘You arrange your own test matches. It would sort out who is doing what – because if England wanted to play us, they would play. They do that now, when it is outside World Rugby-appointed test matches.

‘They pay now – so they revenue-share now. So for people to say it will never happen … it will never happen if World Rugby keep organising the games.

‘Do you think World Rugby would like to have a World Cup without the All Blacks in it? It just wouldn’t happen because they [World Rugby] couldn’t stand for it to happen.’

Hansen added that he is confident that New Zealand Rugby would make the correct call in order to ensure growth in the game.

‘I think if we get pushed far enough to the wall, then I think our administrators will make the call,’ Hansen said. ‘They won’t want to because it won’t be seen to be the right thing for the game.

‘Everyone has got an appetite for change. So let’s use that appetite and do what is right for the game. And do what is right for the players.’


Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images