STAYING PUT: New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen.
STAYING PUT: New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen. Alastair Grant

All Blacks mentor re-signs until after next World Cup

RUGBY: World Cup-winner Steve Hansen believes the All Blacks are yet to reach their peak under his guidance.

And that is why he has ultimately re-signed to remain as coach of the New Zealand national team until at least 2019.

“There are still mountains to be climbed – we can still get better, and I can still get better as a coach,” said the man who has coached 52 wins from 57 Tests, two of them coming in World Cup finals.

He now wants a third, in Japan in 2019.

“Three in a row – it’s never been done before and it’s a challenge this team will really enjoy.”

Coming off a 3-0 win over the Welsh, Hansen, who was appointed head coach in 2012, said he took time to make his decision.

“I had to ask a couple of questions – did I have the energy, passion and commitment to get up and drive this team the way it needs to be driven?”

Hansen wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility of staying on for the 2023 World Cup, pointing to 94-year-old New Zealand athletics coach Arch Jelley as an example of what was possible.

“But there’s only one Arch Jelley, so I won’t be coaching at 94, I can promise you that,” he said.

“It’s not even worthwhile me thinking about that. I think the contract runs through to March 2020, and I’m comfortable with that.

“After the World Cup in 2019, there’ll be decisions to be made.”