Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has announced that he will be joining the coaching ranks at Japanese Top League outfit Toyota Verblitz.
Hansen’s position will be an off-field one where he’ll act as a mentor and adviser.
“It’s an interesting role,” Hansen told the All Blacks’ official website. “It’s not one as head coach.
“It requires me to be up there somewhere between 5-17 weeks a year.
“The key thing is to go in there and work with the people who are in the environment.”
Toyota Verblitz’s New Zealand head coach Simon Cron is one of those people Hansen will be working with. Cron is a former Waratahs assistant coach.
“I think he’s going to be a very good coach and having the opportunity to help him grow is something that really excites me,” said Hansen.
📽️ WATCH | Outgoing All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen has confirmed his next career move to Toyota Verblitz in Japan's Top League. pic.twitter.com/BPsOQfj72K
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) December 2, 2019
Outgoing All Blacks captain Kieran Read also signed a deal to join the club after his retirement from Test rugby this year and Springboks Willie le Roux and Gio Aplon are also playing at the club.
Hansen said his aim is to create the same kind of positive family-type environment at Toyota Verblitz that he established with the All Blacks, who he guided to the 2015 Rugby World Cup title.
“I see that as what’s normal in any rugby team,” he added. “So if I can help in any way with that, then that’ll be important too.”
Hansen said the job’s flexible nature was something that appealed to him.
“Whilst it’s not a full-time coaching role, it is a role that allows me to stay in the game… and allows me to have the family time that I want to have. I’m really looking forward to it.”