Steve Hansen re-signs until 2019 Rugby World Cup

by AFP

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen on Monday re-signed with the New Zealanders until 2019, giving him the chance to defend the World Cup in Japan.

Hansen has already been involved in two World Cup wins with the All Blacks, as assistant coach in 2011 and head coach in 2015, overseeing a spell of unprecedented success.

"It's good news for everyone involved in rugby in this country," New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew told reporters.

Hansen's existing contract was due to expire next year, when the British and Irish Lions tour New Zealand.

Steve Hansen will have a chance to defend New Zealand's Rugby World Cup crown. Photo: Getty ImagesHe said the recent 3-0 Test series win over Wales had confirmed he still had the passion for the job and he decided to continue after discussions with his family.

"It's the best job going," he said, adding that he was relishing the prospect of the All Blacks chasing three World Cups in a row.

During Hansen's tenure as All Blacks head coach, they have won 52 Tests, drawn two and lost just three, giving him a winning percentage of 92.1 percent.

The 57-year-old was appointed in late 2011 after serving as assistant coach under Graham Henry for eight years, including the All Blacks World Cup victory on home soil in 2011.

He signed a contract extension in 2014 and repaid NZR's faith in him last year by guiding the All Blacks to their first World Cup title outside New Zealand.

Hansen, a former policeman who played in the South Island rugby stronghold of Canterbury, also coached Wales to the quarter-finals of the 2003 World Cup.