Hansen extends All Blacks contract to 2015
Updated: Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 12:12
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has been rewarded for a successful first season by having his contract extended until after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Hansen was appointed head coach after Graham Henry stepped down following the team's victorious World Cup campaign in 2011 and the 53-year-old will now have a chance to lead the defence of the title in England.
The former Wales coach and assistant to Henry with the All Blacks since 2004 was initially given a two-year contract until the end of 2013.
"When I took this job I never took it as my right to get an extended contract and I feel privileged to have that opportunity," Hansen said.
"Going forward there are some massive challenges and I guess the biggest one is to recapture the William Webb Ellis trophy in 2015.
"In this role I have always been duty bound to do what is best for the team. Whilst it's great to be re-contracted I don't think it will have any influence on the future."
In his first season in charge, the All Blacks won 12 games, drew once against Australia and lost just one match, against England at Twickenham in their final test of the year.
"I think he had an outstanding year last year as head coach," NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said.
"We overcame a potential World Cup hangover with considerable expertise."