All Blacks coach Hansen to retire after 2019 World Cup

Joe Schmidt had another successful year

All Blacks outside back Ben Smith has confirmed that he will be leaving New Zealand Rugby at the end of the 2019 season.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt turned down an approach from the All Blacks to replace Wayne Smith back in 2017 it has been revealed.

Schmidt will end his tenure with Ireland following next year's World Cup and, while it still appears nearly certain he will take time out and spend it with his family, the 53-year old dropped a hint that he would not remain out of the game permanently.

However, despite being granted an extended period by Hansen to now make a move on the next coach, Impey is keen to first ensure there is no distraction from the All Blacks' efforts in Japan.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen paid tribute to the 32-year-old, describing him as a "special person" who always put the jersey first.

The All Blacks have played 96 test matches under Hansen, winning 85, losing eight and drawing three for an 88.5 winning percentage.




"On behalf of New Zealand Rugby, we congratulate Steve, his wife Tash and his family on his contribution to New Zealand Rugby - and the contribution he'll continue to make in 2019 - and we all look forward to what next year will bring", says Impey.

Ben Smith celebrates a try with team-mates during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. "I know the team will be looking forward to playing one last season with him". I'm away a lot and in the coming year I'm going to be out of the home for more days than I am in the home.

However, he did let slip that Foster "would be a great head coach - he's developed as a coach and as a man and has some great qualities and his understanding of the game is great".

Before joining the New Zealand set-up, Hansen coached Wales between 2002 and 2004, taking them to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2013. I think it's the rugby union's job.

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. The All Blacks now hold all the major trophies we play for, he played a critical role in the back-to-back-Rugby World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015, and we wish him and the team all the very best for next year's campaign.

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