Steve Hansen came close to coaching Wales to a World Cup win over the All Blacks

Steve Hansen came close to coaching Wales to a World Cup win over the All Blacks

By Violet Matakibau
Sunday 19/04/2020
Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen

Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has admitted he wasn't ready for his first national coaching job with a Wales team which could have beaten the All Blacks but for a forward pass and a decent dollop of self-belief.

Hansen went to Wales in 2001 as assistant-coach of the national team under New Zealand compatriot Graham Henry.

He took over the top job in 2002 after Henry was replaced following a record Six Nations defeat to Ireland.

Hansen who helped Henry coach the All Blacks to the 2011 Rugby World Cup title and was head coach when they retained the crown.

By 2002, Hansen had had just one campaign as a head coach at elite professional level, having guided Canterbury to the NPC title and Ranfurly Shield double in 2001.

Hansen admitted that after Henry left, he was "cast into a role which, he probably wasn't ready for.

Wales struggled at a time the sport was transitioning from club rugby to a five-franchise regional system.

At one point, Wales lost 10 tests on the trot with Hansen at the helm, leading to Welsh Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett warning the Kiwi coach he would be sacked if his team did not beat Scotland.

The Welsh scored a 23-9 victory and Hansen went on to coach Wales at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, where they came close to upsetting the All Blacks in section play after scoring four tries, one by New Zealand-born midfield back Sonny Parker.

[Source: Stuff.co.nz]

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