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Steve Hanson Signs On As All Blacks Coach Until 2019

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All Black coach Steve Hanson has extended his contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Steve Hansen said he was very honoured and grateful to the New Zealand Rugby Board and Steve Tew to be given the opportunity to extend his contract.

"It was never going to be an easy decision nor a foregone conclusion that I would extend my contract. As I've said many times before, it had to be right for my family, for myself and for the team.

"In speaking to my family, they've all given me their wholehearted support and I'm very thankful for that, because you just couldn't do this job without that.

"In asking the important questions of myself, I had to be confident, firstly, in my own mind that I still had the passion, drive and commitment to keep pushing this team to improve and be better. The recent Steinlager Series against the Welsh confirmed to me that I still had that internal motivation.

"The second question I had asked myself was: could I improve as a coach? And I believe I can, and must, as I will be asking others to do the same.

"With regards to the team, I spoke to a number of players and management to get their thoughts on what would be right for the team going forward and I received unanimous feedback from them that it was right for me to continue.

"Once I had confirmed all three of those considerations, it really was a 'no brainer' to continue, because, as a coach, there is no better job in rugby than coaching your own national team, particularly one that is as successful as this All Blacks team has been."

Hansen also said he was thrilled to be leading the All Blacks through until Rugby World Cup 2019.

"Having the opportunity to be part of a team that will be trying to win three consecutive Rugby World Cups is both an invigorating and exciting challenge and one I'm very much looking forward to being part of.

"However, whilst the continuation of my contract will put a focus on the World Cup, it's the immediate future that we need to focus on and we're all looking forward to getting back together for the Investec Rugby Championship and re-establishing the team, following the Steinlager Series.

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