IN SELECTING the side, the All Blacks coaches have gone for experience as well as the introduction of the three new caps. In the forwards, the All Blacks have the…
The pressure on any New Zealand coach is always huge, but it will be ratcheted up another notch in this Rugby World Cup as the All Blacks attempt to become the first team to win back-to-back tournaments.
Steve Hansen was part of the coaching team for the 2011 triumph in New Zealand, as an assistant to Graham Henry. The All Blacks won the final against France, ending a 24-year wait for the trophy.
Hansen was originally a centre for Canterbury in the 1980s and would later coach both them between 1996-2001 and worked as an assistant at the Crusaders.
The New Zealander went on to coach Wales in 2002, succeeding Henry, but did not enjoy a successful spell. For the first time in Welsh rugby history, they lost every game of the 2003 Six Nations as part of an 11-match winless streak.
After giving England a scare in the 2003 RWC quarter-final, Hansen decided not to seek to renew his contract in 2004. He instead reunited with his coaching mentor Henry with the All Blacks, becoming the forwards coach.
Following the 2011 World Cup victory, Hansen took over from Henry as head coach and has kept New Zealand as the world’s No 1-ranked team, winning 14 out of 14 Tests in 2013. He was named the IRB Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013.