Hansen slams fractured Northern Hemisphere

Date published: October 19 2015

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen laments the state of rugby in the Northern Hemisphere following their disastrous showing at the Rugby World Cup.

The Kiwi believes the various unions need to work together and show loyalty to home-based players if they want to improve their standard of rugby.

Hansen's statement follows four World Cup quarter finals where four southern hemisphere nations knocked out their northern compatriots, effectively creating a Rugby Championship round of semi-finals.

The gap appears to be widening between the hemispheres as Ireland, on paper the best the region has to offer after winning back-to-back Six Nations titles and rising to third in the world rankings, were comprehensively outplayed by Argentina on Sunday night.

"You need to have the same goals and the same vision," said Hansen. 

"There are a lot of foreign players in the Top 14 and that means there are a lot of French players who are not getting the chance to grow and develop.

"It's not my country and I shouldn't say too much but, if you want to be successful at international level, you have to be united from the top down."

Hansen went on to compare northern rugby to England’s Premier League football, a league that is inundated with foreign players. However, as soon as the players return to their respective nations for international competition, England as a football nation are woeful.

"You only have to look at the soccer model that rugby up here follows," he added.

“England haven't won anything for years, yet they have the best Premier League in the world. Most of the best players are playing in that league but it doesn’t reflect on the international team."

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Hansen says their system helps build the strongest All Black team possible by having a collective goal.
"I think we have got our model right," said Hansen.

"We are all on the same page and we want to support international rugby and all head in the same direction. I am not sure up here if that’s the case."