Beauden Barrett Steve Hansen – the man plotting England’s Rugby World Cup downfall

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Beauden Barrett Steve Hansen

Hansen could be replaced by Ian Foster (background) when he steps down as New Zealand coach at the end of the tournament
Rugby World Cup semi-final: England v New Zealand
Venue:International Stadium, YokohamaDate:Saturday, 26 OctoberKick-off:09:00 BST
Coverage:Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

“I’m confident I’m a good coach.”

Back in August 2003, not everyone was as sure as Steve Hansen.

The New Zealander was speaking after overseeing a record 10th successive defeat for Wales.

To make matters worse a second-string England side had inflicted it, with Test bit-part players Alex King, Dan Scarbrough and Stuart Abbott among those helping themselves to a 43-9 win at Millennium Stadium.

The weekend after, Wales faced Scotland in their final warm-up Test before the Rugby World Cup.

Hansen came under pressure after Wales lost every game in the 2003 Six Nations

Hansen named a line-up that included several fringe players.

Second row Gareth Llewellyn, on the bench for the match, remembered the Welsh Rugby Union’s reaction to Hansen’s selection in an interview with The Rugby Paper back in 2016.

“Our understanding of what happened was that [WRU chief executive] David Moffett went to Steve and said: ‘You need to win this game. Your job is not safe so you need to change the team you’ve picked’,” Llewellyn said.

“Steve made his position clear – ‘I’ve picked that side and that’s the side I’m going to play. I’m 100% behind the players.’

“He stuck to his guns. Even when he realised the consequences, he didn’t panic. We won and Steve hasn’t looked back from that day to this.”

After a decent run to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, Hansen moved to an assistant coach role with the All Blacks in 2004.

He took over from Graham

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