Hansen to announce future plans ahead of Christmas


Coach of Dublin – New Zealand Steve Hansen will announce what his future plans are before Christmas, he told a news conference on Sunday.

The 59-year-old will try to win a second successive World Cup as a coach next year.

He was asked if he knew if his compatriot and Irish coach Joe Schmidt would step down after the sport's final in Japan.

"Well, I do not know, you'll have to ask Joe," Hansen said. "We're all going to make an announcement soon.

"I decided before leaving (New Zealand for the All Blacks tour) that I was going to make an announcement, and I'm going to do it before Christmas at some point."

Schmidt, whose contract comes to an end after the World Cup, was mentioned as a potential future for All Blacks coach.

He did not hurt his prospects with two wins in four clashes with the world champions – the last thrilling and tight win of 16-9 on Saturday – the only time the Irish beat the giants of the Southern Hemisphere.

Schmidt is expected to announce by the end of November whether it will continue.

Schmidt, who has revolutionized Irish rugby since taking over the reins in 2013 and winning three Six Nations titles, would be a rarity as All Blacks coach from outside the national stage.

New Zealand has a policy of promoting coaches in the ranks of the All Blacks in Super Rugby jobs.

Hansen was promoted to the position of best coach after coach Graham Henry left office after the 2011 World Cup triumph.

Hansen's current assistant, Ian Foster, has been in office for six years, after seven years as Waikato Chiefs coach.


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