'Amazing coup' as ex-All Blacks coach joins Aussie league club

·2-min read
Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will work as a consultant for Australian rugby league team Canterbury Bulldogs
Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will work as a consultant for Australian rugby league team Canterbury Bulldogs

World Cup-winning former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has agreed to act as a consultant for struggling Australian rugby league side Canterbury Bulldogs in what the club called "an amazing coup".

Hansen guided New Zealand to victory at the 2015 World Cup but his tenure ended after they finished third at last year's tournament in Japan.

He subsequently took up a job as director of rugby at Japanese side Toyota Verblitz, an off-field role that involved him acting as a mentor and adviser.

His duties as high-performance consultant at the Bulldogs next season will be similar, linking up with new coach Trent Barrett as the club looks to rebound from finishing 15th on the 16-team ladder this year.

Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill hailed Hansen as "one of the most highly respected figures throughout all of sports".

"Steve will work closely with our coaching and management staff, in addition to our players leadership group," he said.

"To be able to have someone with Steve's record and background work with our staff and players will be a great asset to our club," he added, calling it an "amazing coup".

Hansen was assistant coach when the All Blacks won the World Cup in 2011 and took over the top job for the 2015 title defence.

During his time at the helm, New Zealand were World Rugby's team of the year five times, won the Rugby Championship six times and retained the Bledisloe Cup, played annually against Australia, in all eight years.

Hansen's successor at the All Blacks, Ian Foster, said he was sure his old boss would do a great job.

"His ability to assist young coaches and help them grow is going to be fantastic, so I'm sure the Bulldogs will benefit greatly from him," he said.

Foster joked that he had taken steps to prevent Hansen poaching All Black talent for his new employers.

"I've had a call with him today and told him I've banned all our backs from answering any calls they get from him," he said.

However, scrum-half Aaron Smith was more interested in freebies than job offers, appealing for Hansen to "hook us up with some tickets, bro".

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