Hansen puts his hand up for Crusaders job


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All Blacks forwards coach and former Wales boss Steve Hansen has confirmed that he is interested in filling the vacant Crusaders coaching job.

Hansen however insists he will only take the role if he can also remain as All Blacks coach Graham Henry’s assistant.

‘I’ve put my name into the hat but it’s subject to being approved by the New Zealand Rugby Union to do both jobs so the Canterbury Rugby Union and the NZRU have to make some decisions,’ Hansen told PA Sport.

‘I would like to do both if I can.’

It is not unthinkable that Hansen could wear both hats as former Crusaders coach Robbie Deans was John Mitchell’s assistant coach with the All Blacks from 2001 until 2003 when the All Blacks came third.

Hansen said that the main reason for putting his hand up for the job with the Crusaders was to further his coaching pedigree but said ironically combining both jobs would also give him more time with his family.

‘(Family) is one of the reasons but not the key reason. The key reason is wanting to get back into a head role,’ he continued.

‘I’m happy coaching with Wayne (Smith) and Graham, I’m really enjoying it, but I want to keep growing as a coach.

‘The challenge of running a team is something I haven’t had for five years.’

His coaching career with Canterbury included NPC victories in 1997 and 2001, while he served as assistant coach with the Crusaders when they won the Super rugby titles in 2000 and 2001.

In 2002 he succeeded Graham Henry as coach of Wales but left after the 2004 Six Nations to join Graham Henry and Wayne Smith as All Blacks assistant coach.

Hansen believes performing dual roles could be beneficial to the 2008 Super 14 champions and the All Blacks ‘but it’s not just about what I think, it’s about what we all think in a process that includes Canterbury and the Crusaders and the NZRU’.

Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach is expected to name a short-list of candidates on Friday with Mark Hammett who was Deans’ assistant for the past two seasons, and Todd Blackadder having already declared their interest in the position.

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