Hansen takes over as All Blacks coach after their World Cup triumph

Story highlights

  • Steve Hansen takes over as coach of All Blacks rugby team
  • Hansen succeeds Graeme Henry at the helm of the world champions
  • 52-year-old Hansen is a former policeman
  • Italian skipper Sergio Parisse extends Stade Francais deal
The world champion All Blacks appointed Steve Hansen as their new coach Friday in succession to Graham Henry.
Hansen was part of the coaching team under Henry as New Zealand triumphed in the World Cup on home soil two months ago and was widely tipped to take over.
"I feel humbled and proud to be given the opportunity to lead the team into its next phase," Hansen told the official New Zealand Rugby Union website.
"My aim will be to leave the team in a better shape than how I found it and to enhance its legacy," he added.
The 52-year-old Hansen is a former policeman who has been coaching at various levels for 18 years.
He took charge of the Wales national side for two years before returning home to join Henry's staff in 2004.
With Henry and Wayne Smith, the trio were responsible for the famed All Blacks winning 88 out of 103 Tests, capped by their narrow victory over France in the 2011 World Cup final.
With Smith taking up a new role with the Super 15 side Waikato Chiefs, Hansen will decide his new coaching assistants next week.
He has signed an initial two-year deal but will be hoping he can lead the All Blacks to successive World Cup triumphs in the next competition in England in 2015, a feat no team has achieved in the history of the competition.
"You look at the Rugby World Cup history and teams have struggled slightly afterwards, but that makes the challenge even more exciting," he told a media conference Friday.
New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Mike Eagle is confident Hansen is the right choice to take up the reins.
"He has huge respect and backing from the team and his peers and is the right man to now lead the team," he said.
In other rugby union news Friday, Italian international skipper Sergio Parisse has signed a new four-year contact with French side Stade Francais.
Backrow forward Parisse, 28, who has played 83 internationals, moved to Stade from Treviso in 2005.