Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen
Date of birth (1959-05-07) 7 May 1959
Place of birth Mosgiel, Otago, New Zealand
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Centre
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1980–87 Canterbury 21
Coaching career
Years Club / team
Crusaders (assistant)
New Zealand (assistant)
New Zealand

Stephen William "Steve" Hansen, CNZM and High Chief Of Vaiala,[1] (born 7 May 1959) is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former rugby union player. He is currently the head coach of the All Blacks.

Early life

Hansen was born in Mosgiel, and was educated at The Taieri High School. A rugby union centre, he represented Canterbury at first-class level on 21 occasions.[2]

Coaching career

Hansen began his coaching career with the Canterbury provincial rugby union team from 1996 to 2001. During his tenure the side won the National Provincial Championship in 1997 and 2001. In 1999, 2000 and 2001, he was assistant coach to Wayne Smith and then Robbie Deans for the Canterbury Crusaders.


He was the head coach of the Welsh national team, becoming the ninth Welsh coach in 13 years, after Graham Henry parted company with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in 2002. During his first game in charge, Wales performed well but lost by 37–33 to France. This became a familiar theme during his tenure as coach. Events reached a head during 2003 when for the first time in their history Wales lost every match in the Six Nations Championship and went on to record a streak of 11 consecutive Test match defeats, broken by a defeat of rugby minnows Romania on 27 August 2003, though Hansen was not the coach for this match.[3][4] Hansen resumed his role when he coached Wales during the 2003 Rugby World Cup, in which a strong display against the All Blacks and a spirited quarter final loss against England stopped the criticism of his coaching. He stepped down as Wales head coach in the summer of 2004 after not seeking to renew his contract and was succeeded by Mike Ruddock.

Return to New Zealand

In 2004, he was appointed to the All Blacks as an assistant coach under former mentor Graham Henry. Hansen was considered as a likely candidate to become the next Crusaders coach, starting in the 2009 Super 14 season, after Robbie Deans left to coach Australia, but in fact the Crusaders coaching job went to former All Black Todd Blackadder.


Hansen assisted Graham Henry in coaching the All Blacks to a 2011 Rugby World Cup final win against France, ending a 24-year Rugby World Cup winning drought for the All Blacks. It was tipped that Steve Hansen would take over as head coach of the New Zealand All Blacks when Graham Henry's contract expired at the end of 2011. He was formally appointed on 15 December 2011.[5]


In his first games and series as head coach, Hansen guided the All Blacks to a 3–0 series victory over the Irish during 2012 tour, with the final game being a record 60–0 defeat for the Irish. On 25 August, the All Blacks under Hansen retained the Bledisloe Cup for a 10th consecutive year after their second match against Australia during the 2012 Rugby Championship. He was named IRB Coach of the Year for 2012. His only defeat as coach in 2012 came against England, a 38–21 loss on 1 December 2012 in the 2012 end-of-year rugby union tests.

In the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours Hansen was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to rugby.[6]


The All Blacks went undefeated in 2013, and Hansen was named IRB coach of the year for the second year running.[7] The All Blacks retained the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, and won 14 of 14 matches, becoming the first team to ever do this in the professional era. The team finished the year by winning 24–22 against Ireland in the 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests.[8]


In 2014, having already defeated England 3–0 on their tour, New Zealand lost their first ever Rugby Championship match. On 4 October, they lost to South Africa 27–25 in Johannesburg, while they had also drawn their opening match of the Championship with Australia 12–all.[9][10] Despite this, they retained their title for a third consecutive year. On 1 November 2014, Hansen led the All Blacks to a 74–6 win over the United States in Chicago - this was the first time the All Blacks had visited the States in the professional era, and the first time the USA had hosted them since 1980. Hansen later led the team to a further three victories on their European tour, to see him be named World Rugby coach of the year.


Hansen took the All Blacks to Samoa for the first ever official test match, where the All Blacks won the match 25–16. In a shortened Rugby Championship, the All Blacks failed to retain the title they held for three years. Having beaten Argentina 39–18 and South Africa 27–20, a final match against Australia would see either New Zealand or Australia claim the Championship. For the first time since 2011, Australia beat the All Blacks 27–19. During the 2015 Rugby World Cup, despite some error ridden games in the Pool stage, Hansen lead the All Blacks to the top off Pool C with victories over Argentina, 26–16, Namibia 58–14, Georgia 43–10 and Tonga 47–9, before beating France in the quarter-final 62–13 and South Africa 20–18 in the semi-final. They faced Australia in the final, winning 34–17 to become the first team ever to retain the Webb Ellis Cup. He also led the All Blacks to their first ever foreign Rugby World Cup victory. They also became the second team to win on British soil with Australia having won both previous tournaments in 1991 and 1999.[11][12]


The start of the 2016 season saw Hansen call up 7 uncapped players to the squad ahead of their 3-test series with Wales.[13] Hansen were having to deal with the retirements of previous key players in Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, with a guaranteed new mid-field trio needed to be tested. Despite the losses of the retired 5, their replacements, Sam Cane, Aaron Cruden, Ryan Crotty and Malakai Fekitoa, for the first test had already earned 96 caps between them and had been in the All Blacks environment since 2012. In the first test, Wales led the All Blacks 18–15 at the break, however the All Blacks scored 15 points in 5 minutes to lead Wales 32–21, with a final try on the 80th minute to win 39–21. The second test saw the team all tied up after 40 minutes 10–all, but 4 tries in 15 minutes saw New Zealand lead by 26 points heading into the final 10 minutes. 2 late tries by Wales in the closing period of the game saw the game end 36–22 to the All Blacks. Hansen led New Zealand a clean sweep, after New Zealand won the final test 46–6, with a new mid-field trio tested in Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty and George Moala. Many new players gained their first cap during the Welsh series including Eliot Dixon and Liam Squire.

On 25 July, Hansen was reappointed as the All Blacks head coach, seeing the role through to the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[14]

During the 2016 Rugby Championship, the All Blacks went onto secure their fourth title in 5 years, becoming the first side in either Rugby Championship or Tri-Nations to secure their title four rounds in. They won all 6 games convincingly, defeating Australia 42–8 and 29–9, Argentina 57–22 and 36–17 and South Africa 41–13 and 57–15. The following Bledisloe Cup game against Australia at Eden Park, saw the All Blacks secure a 37–10 victory, and with it a new Tier One World Record of 18 consecutive victories. This run was ended by a historic first victory by Ireland 40–29, in Chicago. However, Hansen later led the All Blacks to 3 consecutive wins, defeating Italy 68–10 with a team that had over 12 changes. The All Blacks played Ireland again in their third week of the tour, this time, earning a 21–9 victory in Dublin, before going on to win 24–19 against France in Paris.

Coaching statistics


International Matches as Head Coach

Note: World Rankings Column shows the World Ranking Wales was placed at on the following Monday after each of their matches

Record by country

Opponent Played Won Drew Lost Win ratio (%) For Against
 Australia 10010.00% 10 30
 Canada 2200100% 73 31
 England 50050.00% 66 178
 Fiji 1100100.00% 58 14
 France 30030.00% 60 99
 Ireland 30030.00% 51 96
 Italy 430175.00% 137 75
 New Zealand 30030.00% 57 151
 Romania 1100100.00% 40 3
 Scotland 420250.00% 90 76
 South Africa 20020.00% 27 53
 Tonga 1100100% 27 20
TOTAL 301002033.33%696826

New Zealand

International Matches as Head Coach

Note: World Rankings Column shows the World Ranking New Zealand was placed at on the following Monday after each of their matches

Record by country

Opponent Played Won Drew Lost Win ratio (%) For Against
 Argentina 10 10 0 0 1000 356 143
 Australia 15 12 2 1 80 476 259
 England 6 5 0 1 83 159 136
 France 6 6 0 0 1000 189 73
 Georgia 1 1 0 0 1000 43 10
 Ireland 6 5 0 1 83 198 100
 Italy 2 2 0 0 1000 110 20
 Japan 1 1 0 0 1000 54 6
 Namibia 1 1 0 0 1000 58 14
 Samoa 1 1 0 0 1000 25 16
 Scotland 2 2 0 0 1000 75 38
 South Africa 10 9 0 1 90 304 172
 Tonga 1 1 0 0 1000 47 9
 United States 1 1 0 0 1000 74 6
 Wales 5 5 0 0 1000 188 75
TOTAL 68 62 2 4 91 2356 1077


Other honours

New Zealand (as assistant coach)


Crusaders (as assistant coach)

See also


  1. O'Sullivan, Rory (9 July 2015). "Steve Hansen made honorary chief of Samoan village". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  2. Knowler, Richard (9 June 2012). "Steve Hansen's hour of reckoning approaches". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  3. "Wales win at last". BBC Sport. 27 August 2003. Retrieved 27 August 2003.
  4. Wales win at last
  5. McKendry, Patrick (1 November 2011). "All Blacks: Devil in detail of hiring process". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  6. Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List 2012. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  7. Napier, Liam (8 December 2013). "Q&A with the All Blacks coach Steve Hansen". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  8. "Ireland 22 New Zealand 24". Daily Telegraph. UK. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  9. All Blacks' winning run ends in Bledisloe draw
  10. Springboks beat New Zealand at the death
  11. TOBY ROBSON (1 November 2015). "Rugby World Cup: Steve Hansen really was the smartest guy in the room". Stuff. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  12. "New Zealand retain Rugby World Cup with ruthless display against Australia". Guardian. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  13. All Blacks squad named for 2016 Steinlager Series
  14. Steve Hansen reappointed as All Blacks Head Coach
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Graham Henry
All Blacks coach
Preceded by
Dick Tonks
New Zealand's Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Anthony Peden
Preceded by
Anthony Peden
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