All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen to step down after next year's Rugby World Cup
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen will step down at the end of the 2019 World Cup, New Zealand Rugby Union has announced.
Hansen has been Head Coach of the All Blacks since 2012 and led the Kiwis to World Cup triumph in 2015 and prior to that was an Assistant Coach for eight years.
"After being involved in the All Blacks for 16 years, I do feel it's right for the team for me to stand down. I think change after the Rugby World Cup will bring a new outlook for the team and it'll be time for someone else to enhance the legacy of the All Blacks."
Hansen said there had been no pressure from his family to step aside.
"As only people who have done the job will understand, there are not only heavy demands on yourself, but also on your family. My family has given me unreserved love and support over the last 16 years and I feel it's now time to make them the sole focus."
"It's been a huge privilege to be part of the All Blacks for such a long time and I'm really looking forward to, and excited by the challenges, of the next 12 months. We'll be attempting to do something that has never been done before - to win three consecutive Rugby World Cups. I'm highly motivated by that, as is the whole group, and we're really looking forward to it."
Hansen added he was making the decision now to give his employers the best chance to find a capable successor.
"This is a critical process which shouldn't be rushed and shouldn't be made in the turbulent period that tends to follow a Rugby World Cup campaign," he said.
International Rugby Newsletter
More to follow