Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Steve Hansen named as new coach of the All Blacks

A replacement for Graham Henry has been found, and he’s coming from within the New Zealand ranks.

STEVE HANSEN HAS been appointed as the new head coach of New Zealand, taking over from the World Cup-winning Graham Henry.

Hansen takes over after acting as assistant to Henry for the last eight years, and says that he is ‘thrilled’ to be chosen as successor.

“In this sport it’s the greatest honour you can receive,” Hansen, who has been handed a two-year contract, said in a press conference.

“It comes with a huge amount of responsibility and all I can say is that I’m passionate about rugby, passionate about New Zealand, passionate about the All Blacks jersey and its’ legacy, and I look forward to the next two years with this team and taking it forward and enhancing that legacy.”

Hansen is aware of the size of the task ahead of him, despite his side’s success at home in the Autumn.

“If you look at the Rugby World Cup, teams (that win it) have struggled (afterwards) and that is what makes this so exciting,” Hansen said.

“It was a magnificent thing that we achieved but this is a new team, a new group of people and we have to make our own history.

“There will be changes because there are new personnel involved but it would be foolish to change too much because they’re not a bad side. They’ve won a few games over the last eight years.

“So that tells me what we have been doing hasn’t been too bad and that continuity of me going from assistant to head coach allows us to have an understanding of what has been successful.”

Hansen is succeeding Henry for the second time in his career. He took over the Welsh reins from his compatriot in 2002, guiding them to the World Cup quarter-finals, before rejoining Henry as assistant to the All Blacks a year later.

Read: Friday’s Morning Score >