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Steve Hansen oversaw a win over Wales for third place at the Rugby World Cup in his last game in charge of the All Blacks, and then took a parting shot at northern hemisphere unions.
It takes a certain kind of resilience to be part of the All Blacks’ coaching crew for four World Cups.
After the last of his 93 wins from 107 tests as coach of New Zealand, Hansen clearly isn’t ready to stop defending his turf.
Six days after the All Blacks’ bid for a third straight World Cup title ended in a semifinal loss to England, Hansen managed to get his squad up again to beat Wales 40-17 on Friday and claim bronze.
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He was emotional as he clapped his hands above his head during a post-match interview, applauding his All Blacks and acknowledging a rousing crowd of close to 49,000.
It was a night before his wistful exit as coach, and the colour of the medal was not the same as the All Blacks delivered in 2011 and 2015, but it was a winning ending all the same.
Not long after, Hansen was asked about the potential future power shift in the game and how it may affect the All Blacks, with the money on offer for players in Europe leading to predictions of an exodus from the south.
Ever combative, Hansen turned defense into attack.
“Firstly, the northern hemisphere has always had the say about what happens. Six Nations has been doing that for years,” he said.
“That’s one of the issues with our game. We need to become a global game and make decisions that are right for the game, rather than what’s right for one region.
“That’s the challenge for our game, to put our own personal desires to the side a
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