Hansen to step down after 2017 Lions tour?

Date published: November 2 2015

Despite guiding New Zealand to World Cup glory at the weekend, All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has indicated he is unlikely to be in his position when they defend their title in 2019.

Hansen is currently under contract until 2017 and when asked if he is keen to extend his deal through to the next World Cup in Japan, he replied: "I'd probably say it was more likely I won't be there after 2017."

That means the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand is set to be Hansen's swansong as the All Blacks' head coach. 

His stint on the All Blacks coaching staff started in 2004 when he was an assistant to Sir Graham Henry and he took over the reins when Henry retired after New Zealand won the 2011 World Cup on home soil.

Hansen believes parting ways with the world champions in 2017 would be at the right time.

"There's a reason why it [contract] only goes to 2017, and it's because I'm not sure about that [continuing]," he said.

"I wouldn't say no, but I'm certainly not saying yes, either. You only get 10 years for murder back home … I like the idea of changing the guard halfway through a four-year cycle which has the World Cup in the middle of it.

"I think when people come in it's easy to get some real dramatic shifts early and it's a lot harder to keep that momentum going. 

"And I think also for a long time we put everything on the World Cup … unless you've got some real strength of character, you can be … tricked into making decisions that are right for your survival as opposed to what's right for the team.

"I'd probably say it was more likely I won't be there after 2017. 

"It's been a good trip so far and we've just got to finish it off."