Steve Hansen

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Sir Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen KNZM (cropped).jpg
Hansen in 2020
Stephen William Hansen

(1959-05-07) 7 May 1959 (age 61)
Mosgiel, New Zealand
EducationTaieri High School
Christchurch Boys' High School
Rugby career
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1980–1987 Canterbury 21 ()
Teams coached
Years Team
Crusaders (assistant)
New Zealand (assistant)
New Zealand

Sir Stephen William Hansen KNZM[1] and High Chief Of Vaiala,[2] (born 7 May 1959) is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former rugby union player.

He is the former head coach of the All Blacks, having stepped down at the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Early life[edit]

Hansen was born in Mosgiel, to Desmond and Lauriss Hansen, who were dairy farmers on the Taieri Plain. He was educated at Outram Primary School, The Taieri High School, and Christchurch Boys' High School.[3][4][5] A rugby union centre, he represented Canterbury at first-class level on 21 occasions.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

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.


Hansen was the head coach of the Welsh national team, becoming the ninth Wales 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.[7][8] 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[edit]

In 2004, Hansen 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.[9]


In his first games and series as head coach, Hansen guided the All Blacks to a 3–0 series victory over the Irish during the 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.[10]


The All Blacks went undefeated in 2013, and Hansen was named IRB coach of the year for the second year running.[11] 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.[12]


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.[13][14] 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 led 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.[15][16]


The start of the 2016 season saw Hansen call up 7 uncapped players to the squad ahead of their 3-test series with Wales.[17] Hansen was 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.[18]

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.


In 2017, Hansen led the All Blacks into their first test series against the British and Irish Lions since 2005, when Hansen was assistant to Graham Henry. Ahead of the series, he led his side to a convincing 78–0 victory over Samoa in a warm-up in Auckland. The test series against the Lions was highly anticipated in New Zealand, was and expectation of a 3–0 series win for the All Blacks. This expectation looked promising in the first test, where New Zealand ran out 30–15 victors. However, the series was drawn in the second test, with a first home loss for New Zealand since 2009, Hansen's first taste of a loss at home. Center Sonny Bill Williams was shown a red card 24 minutes into the game, giving the Lions the advantage for the rest of the games, an advantage taken to see the Lions win 24–21. The All Blacks had failed to score any tries in the game, something they had not done at home since 2002. The final test saw a controversial call from referee Romain Poite just minutes from full-time, a call that could have seen the All Blacks opt for a penalty kick to see the game as a winners. However, a scrum was called for an accidental offside, and the game ended 15–15, the first drawn test between the two sides.[19] The series ended in a draw for the first ever time against New Zealand.[20]

The start of the 2017 Rugby Championship saw Hansen lead the All Blacks to a comprehensive win over Australia, 54–34 in Sydney. At one point, the All Blacks led the Wallabies 54–6, but conceded four tries in the last thirty minutes of the game. In the second round, New Zealand came from behind (17–0) to see out another victory over Australia 35–29. It was not until the 78th minute however that the game was secure, with Australia leading 29–28 heading into the final minutes of the game. In round three, Hansen made significant changes to his team against Argentina, but despite this, New Zealand still saw out the victory 39–22, even though they were behind at half time. In the fourth round, Hansen brought back his main players for their home game against South Africa. They helped New Zealand to an historic victory, beating South Africa 57–0 in what was their largest ever defeat. Leading into round 5, New Zealand had already secured their fifth Championship title, and wins over Argentina and South Africa away, meant the All Blacks ended the Championship with six out of six wins.

The All Blacks End-of-year tour began with a 23–18 loss to Australia in Bledisloe Cup 3. This was the first loss against Australia since 2015, and the first time since 2011 that the All Blacks had lost multiple test matches. On 4 November, Hansen led an experimental, youthful and inexperienced side to a 31–22 uncapped win over the Barbarians at Twickenham. This was backed up by two wins over France, 38–18 and 28–23 over a French XV side. On 18 November, New Zealand was pushed by Scotland in Edinburgh, going into half time 3–all. Had it not been for a try saving tackle by Beauden Barrett, the game could have ended in a draw to a loss. However, because of Barrett, the game finished in a win 22–17. New Zealand finished their tour with a convincing 33–18 win over Wales in Cardiff.


The start of 2018 saw France tour New Zealand for the first time since 2013. Despite a number of uncapped players in the squad, and without captain Kieran Read, Hansen led his side to a 3–0 series win and retained the Dave Gallaher Trophy for the fifth consecutive time. The series started with a convincing 52–11 win in Auckland, followed by a 26–13 win in Wellington, even with France down a man for 70 minutes after a controversial red card to fullback Benjamin Fall. The series ended in Dunedin, where the All Blacks with a much changed side from the first tests, ran out 49–14 victors. During the 2018 Rugby Championship, Hansen led his side to a 6th Championship title, winning five games. The only loss was to South Africa in the fourth round, 34–36, which saw South Africa record their first win against New Zealand in New Zealand since their 32–29 win in 2009. New Zealand then had the third bledisloe test against Australia where they won 37–20. They started off the Northern tour with a 69–31 win over Japan, they then sneaked past England in a 16–15 win. A week later they went to Dublin to face Ireland in a match they lost 9–16, an historic first win at home over the All Blacks in their history. The last match of the year for the All Blacks was against Italy, which the All Blacks won convincingly 66–3.


The start of 2019 for Hansen saw his side finish third in the Rugby Championship; the first time they have finished in that position since The Rugby Championship inception – the last being during the 2004 Tri Nations Series. The Championship saw a first draw against the Springboks since 1994, followed by a record-levelling defeat at the hands of the Wallabies, 47–26. Despite that score, New Zealand went onto secure the Bledisloe Cup after beating Australia in the return leg 36–0. In the 2019 Rugby World Cup New Zealand topped its pool, defeating eventual champions South Africa, but was comfortably defeated in the semi-final 19-7 by England. New Zealand went on to beat Wales 40-17 in the bronze match.

Coaching statistics[edit]


International matches as head coach[edit]

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

Record by country[edit]

Opponent Played Won Drew Lost Win ratio (%) For Against
 Australia 1 0 0 1 0.00% 10 30
 Canada 2 2 0 0 100% 73 31
 England 5 0 0 5 0.00% 66 178
 Fiji 1 1 0 0 100.00% 58 14
 France 3 0 0 3 0.00% 60 99
 Ireland 3 0 0 3 0.00% 51 96
 Italy 4 3 0 1 75.00% 137 75
 New Zealand 3 0 0 3 0.00% 57 151
 Romania 1 1 0 0 100.00% 40 3
 Scotland 4 2 0 2 50.00% 90 76
 South Africa 2 0 0 2 0.00% 27 53
 Tonga 1 1 0 0 100% 27 20
TOTAL 30 10 0 20 33.33% 696 826

New Zealand[edit]

International matches as head coach[edit]

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[edit]

Opponent Played Won Drew Lost Win ratio (%) For Against
 Argentina 15 15 0 0 100.00 532 232
 Australia 23 18 2 3 078.26 760 437
 British and Irish Lions 3 1 1 1 033.33 66 54
 Canada 1 1 0 0 100.00 63 0
 England 8 6 0 2 075.00 182 170
 France 10 10 0 0 100.00 354 129
 Georgia 1 1 0 0 100.00 43 10
 Ireland 9 7 0 2 077.78 299 144
 Italy 3 3 0 0 100.00 176 23
 Japan 2 2 0 0 100.00 123 37
 Namibia 2 2 0 0 100.00 129 23
 Samoa 2 2 0 0 100.00 103 16
 Scotland 3 3 0 0 100.00 97 55
 South Africa 16 13 1 2 081.25 491 291
 Tonga 2 2 0 0 100.00 139 16
 United States 1 1 0 0 100.00 74 6
 Wales 6 6 0 0 100.00 221 93
TOTAL 107 93 4 10 086.92 3852 1736


Other honours[edit]

New Zealand (as assistant coach)


Crusaders (as assistant coach)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Year Honours 2020: The full list". The New Zealand Herald. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  2. ^ O'Sullivan, Rory (9 July 2015). "Steve Hansen made honorary chief of Samoan village". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  3. ^ Gray, Wynne (2 November 2001). "Master and his pupil return for final lesson". New Zealand Herald.
  4. ^ van Royen, Robert (19 January 2016). "There's something in that Taieri water". Otago Daily Times.
  5. ^ Knowler, Richard (8 December 2018). "Fourteen things to know about All Blacks coach Steve Hansen". Stuff.
  6. ^ Knowler, Richard (9 June 2012). "Steve Hansen's hour of reckoning approaches". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Wales win at last". BBC Sport. 27 August 2003. Retrieved 27 August 2003.
  8. ^ "Rugby Union – Internationals – Wales win at last". BBC.
  9. ^ McKendry, Patrick (1 November 2011). "All Blacks: Devil in detail of hiring process". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  10. ^ Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List 2012 Archived 4 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  11. ^ Napier, Liam (8 December 2013). "Q&A with the All Blacks coach Steve Hansen". Rugby Heaven. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Ireland 22 New Zealand 24". The Daily Telegraph. UK. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  13. ^ "All Blacks' winning run ends in Bledisloe draw".
  14. ^ Staff, ESPN. "Springboks beat New Zealand at the death".
  15. ^ TOBY ROBSON (1 November 2015). "Rugby World Cup: Steve Hansen really was the smartest guy in the room". Stuff. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  16. ^ "New Zealand retain Rugby World Cup with ruthless display against Australia". The Guardian. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  17. ^ "All Blacks squad named for 2016 Steinlager Series". All Blacks.
  18. ^ "Steve Hansen reappointed as All Blacks Head Coach". All Blacks.
  19. ^ "British and Irish Lions draw 15–15 with New Zealand as series ends level at 1–1". BBC Sport. 8 July 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  20. ^ "New Zealand 15–15 Lions: third Test and series ends in draw – as it happened". The Guardian. 8 July 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Graham Henry
All Blacks coach
Succeeded by
Ian Foster
Preceded by
Dick Tonks
New Zealand's Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Anthony Peden
Preceded by
Anthony Peden
Succeeded by
Gordon Walker