BAGSHOT, November 1 – All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Sunday he is unlikely to take his champion team through to the next World Cup.
Hansen who directed New Zealand to their 34-17 record-breaking victory over Australia in Saturday’s final at Twickenham is currently contracted through to 2017.
From being assistant coach when the All Blacks won in 2011, Hansen has enhanced his reputation since taking over as head coach four years ago.
Under his guidance they have won 49 of 54 games and the win over Australia made the All Blacks the first side to defend the World crown and the first to win it three times.
But Hansen said the time is fast approaching for someone else to take over the prestigious coaching role.
“There’s a reason why it only goes to ’17, because I’m not sure about that,” he said of his contract.
“I wouldn’t say no but I’m certainly not saying yes either.
“I like the idea of changing the guard halfway through a four-year cycle which has the World Cup in the middle of it.
“When people come in it’s easy to get some real dramatic shift early and it’s a lot harder to keep that momentum going.
“I’d probably say it’s more likely I won’t be there after ’17, than being there.”
The 56-year-old former policeman has one of the toughest jobs in New Zealand, a rugby-obsessed nation where the form of the All Blacks can sway the mood of the country.
The country partied hard on Sunday after their three tries to two victory in England.
But with his four year goal achieved, Hansen said he had a few drinks and then went to bed.
On reflection the following day he talked about the strains of the job and why it could be good for the team to have an injection of fresh ideas.
“Also for a long time we’ve put everything on the World Cup as centre and unless you’ve got some real strength of character you can be tricked into making decisions that are right for your survival rather than what is right for the team,” he said having been with the All Blacks as either assistant or head coach for 12 years.