Iconic ex-All Black coach blasts state of New Zealand Rugby as ‘the worst it’s ever been’ after team’s shock home series loss to Ireland

  • Steve Hansen launched a scathing attack on New Zealand Rugby on Thursday 
  • He accused federation of overseeing a series of failures over the past few years 
  • New Zealand lost series at home to Ireland earlier this month 
  • Hansen claimed NZR’s relationship with the players is at its lowest ebb
  • But he defended under-fire All Blacks coach Ian Foster and captain Sam Cane  

Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen launched a scathing attack on New Zealand Rugby (NZR) on Thursday, claiming the federation had presided over a series of high-performance failures and its relationship with players had reached a nadir.

In an interview with New Zealand radio station Today FM, the World Cup-winning coach also took aim at the media for being too hard on current All Blacks boss Ian Foster, who has been under fire since the 2-1 home series defeat by Ireland.

NZR launched a review of the All Blacks’ performance in the wake of the Ireland setback, resulting in Foster’s assistant coaches John Plumtree and Brad Mooar being sacked.

Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has launched a scathing attack on NZR

Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has launched a scathing attack on NZR

The review followed recent turmoil in the national women’s programme, which saw long-serving head coach Glenn Moore quit in April midway through a cultural review.

‘Why don’t [the media] put their attention on the New Zealand Rugby union?’ said Hansen.

‘There’s been a lot of reviews done recently – Glenn Moore and Ian Foster on their coaching abilities. And when did New Zealand Rugby do a review of itself?

‘Our high-performance department at the moment has to be squirming at our record at under-20 level.

Hansen won the 2015 Rugby World Cup while in charge of the All Blacks

Hansen won the 2015 Rugby World Cup while in charge of the All Blacks 

‘Are we getting that business right? I don’t think so.

‘If we’re not winning under-20 World Cups we’re not producing world class players at a younger level to bring into this team.’

NZR did not provide immediate comment when contacted by Reuters about Hansen’s criticism.

Hansen, who guided the All Blacks to their 2015 World Cup win with Foster on his staff, said NZR had put players off-side when trying to secure their support for a private equity deal with U.S. firm Silver Lake.

Ireland won a series in New Zealand for the first time in history earlier this month

Ireland won a series in New Zealand for the first time in history earlier this month 

New Zealand coach Ian Foster is under immense pressure with the All Blacks in dreadful form

New Zealand coach Ian Foster is under immense pressure with the All Blacks in dreadful form

And captain Sam Cane has also come under scrutiny for underperforming

And captain Sam Cane has also come under scrutiny for underperforming 

‘The relationship between the board and the executive with the players is probably the worst it’s ever been,’ he said.

Hansen defended Foster as a ‘very good coach’ who had been treated poorly by media and fans.

He also endorsed the under-fire Sam Cane as All Blacks captain, noting that former skipper Richie McCaw was queried when the All Blacks crashed out of the 2007 World Cup, only to lead them to back-to-back triumphs in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments.

‘We have to believe in him, we have to support him and he’ll come right,’ said Hansen of Cane. ‘He just needs time in the saddle.’

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