Steve Hansen was given a contract extension as head coach of the All Blacks through the team’s defense of its Rugby World Cup title in 2015.
The reappointment of Hansen, who was hired on a two-year deal in December 2011 after serving as an assistant to World Cup-winning head coach Graham Henry, was unanimously endorsed at a recent board meeting, New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Officer Steve Tew said today in an e-mailed statement.
Hansen’s first season in charge produced 12 wins, a draw and a loss as the All Blacks swept the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship and retained the Bledisloe Cup and No. 1 ranking. The team extended its unbeaten streak to 20 Tests before an upset loss against England in London.
“He had an outstanding first year as head coach and his coaching and leadership helped the team build on its exceptional legacy,” Tew said. “Having the All Blacks go back-to-back at Rugby World Cup is one of the key goals for our organization over the next three years and we look forward to working with Steve and the rest of the All Blacks team to help them achieve that goal.”
The next edition of rugby’s four-yearly world championship will take place in England, where the All Blacks will play Argentina, Tonga and two yet-to-be-determined qualifiers in the group stage. New Zealand’s previous two Webb Ellis Cup victories came when it hosted the tournament.
Hansen said while he was very happy with last year’s results, the All Blacks need to grow their leadership experience to ensure the team has “more players who can make good decisions in the big moments.”
“We also need to get our timing right when it comes to introducing more new faces into the team,” Hansen added. “Clearly it will make the next few years tougher than last year, but that’s something we are looking forward to.”
In other appointments, All Blacks Manager Darren Shand extended his contract through the 2015 World Cup, while Tony Page was hired as the team’s doctor to replace Deb Robinson, who stepped down after six years in the job.
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