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Misty-eyed Steve Hansen bows out with a big wave to the crowd.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen wasn’t going to let Kieran Read spoil his fun as he contemplated finally letting go of the All Blacks.
Hansen, who had coached the All Blacks for eight years and previously spent another eight as an assistant to former mentor Sir Graham Henry, signed off from the high pressure job he loved after his team beat Wales 40-17 in the World Cup bronze final in Tokyo on Friday night.
This wasn’t the way Hansen wanted to end his career.
He wanted to walk away with the Webb Ellis Cup still in NZ Rugby’s possession, but the 19-7 loss to England in the semi last weekend put paid to that.
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It has clearly been an emotional ride for Hansen, who fought back tears during the post-match TV interview on the Tokyo Stadium turf.
Later, during the media conference, he was in a more jovial mood.
After praising Wales for their willingness to play attractive rugby, and giving the Six Nations a flick for protecting their patch and not coming to the party when World Rugby tried to launch the Nations League, Hansen got down to talking about how what he will when he returns to New Zealand.
“We will deal with what we need to deal with over the next couple of days and find a nice quiet place at home, sit down, having a few drinks with (wife) Tash and we will have a few laughs,” Hansen said.
“And salute a
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