All Blacks Coach Hansen to Retire After 2019 World Cup

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen announced Friday that he will retire after next year's World Cup in Japan, saying the world champions needed some "fresh thinking."

"I think it's right for the team to have someone new after the World Cup, some fresh eyes, some fresh thinking," he told reporters.

Hansen took over in late 2011 after working as Graham Henry's assistant for seven years and guided the All Blacks to World Cup victory in 2015.

The team has had a mortgage on rugby's number one ranking under his stewardship, never relinquishing the top spot. 

His record as head coach is 85 Test victories, eight losses and three draws, a win rate of almost 90 percent. 

"His record is unsurpassed... whatever happens next in Steve's career, his place as a New Zealand rugby legend is guaranteed," New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey said.

Hansen's departure will start a scramble for his position, with his assistant Ian Foster and Ireland coach Joe Schmidt considered the frontrunners to replace him.

"I've got opinions but for once in my life I'll keep those opinions to myself because I don't think it's helpful for the process," Hansen said when asked about a successor.

During his tenure, Hansen has displayed a keen eye for talent and instilled a team ethos of constant improvement.

It paid off after 2015, when a string of legendary players including Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith retired but the All Blacks' success continued with barely a ripple.

He had originally intended to step down in 2017, mid-way through the World Cup cycle, but New Zealand Rugby persuaded him to extend his contract until 2019.

He was adamant this time the decision to retire was final.


Try Or No Try? England Heartbreak

"What's next? I don't know. So don't bother asking," he said, adding that his priority was to guide the All Blacks to a third straight World Cup in Japan.

A former policeman, Hansen coached domestically with Canterbury and was an assistant at Super Rugby level before moving to Wales in 2001 to work under Henry.

He took over the top job in Cardiff in 2002 but had mixed results before returning to New Zealand two years later to again work as Henry's offsider, this time with the All Blacks.

D1AA Playoff Picture Latest

Here’s where we are on D1AA playoff picture after an interesting run of results this week.

No One Has Lost More Games, But He's An All-Time Great Nonetheless

Italy rugby great Sergio Parisse bid farewell to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome this weekend with another bitter disappointment as the Azzurri snatched a 25-14 defeat from the jaws of victory against France.

Toulouse Still Atop French Top 14

France international Sofiane Guitoune scored a hattrick as Toulouse thrashed Lyon 53-21 to extend their advantage at the top of the French Top 14 on Sunday.

Glendale Surprise Leads PRP Results

The Glendale Merlins pulled off a bit of an upset this weekend in the Pacific Rugby Premiership, defeating the Santa Monica Dolphins 43-37 to move up in the standings to 4th.

Rankings Ramifications: D1A Weekend Wrapup

New USA Callup Duncan Van Schalkwyk

The strong stay strong in Men's D1A College action with six games played this weekend.

Wales Shuts Down Ireland To Win Grand Slam

Wales claimed a record third Six Nations Grand Slam during coach Warren Gatland's reign Saturday as Gareth Anscombe kicked 20 points to help beat an ill-disciplined Ireland 25-7.

Chico State Scare Stirs Up D1AA Playoff Picture

While the spring conferences in D1AA are coming down to the wire, there's the potential for a shakeup in at least one competition.

Samurai PRP Player Of The Week: Adam Channel, Belmont Shore

Adam Channel Scores Five For Belmont Shore

In 2018, Belmont Shore was crowned PRP champion, but after a long playoff run they were left heartbroken in the national championship final.

Barbarians To Face USA Women In Glendale

Women Eagles Hard At Work

The USA Women's team will play a historic game April 26 when they face the Barbarians FC in Glendale, CO.

D1A Playoff Thoughts On Crucial Weekend

On The Sidelines With Cal

We are coming to a very crucial time in D1A rugby as the playoffs are not far.