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The New Zealand Reaction To Ireland Winning The Grand Slam

The New Zealand Reaction To Ireland Winning The Grand Slam
By PJ Browne
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"Losing to Ireland, I'm not shocked about that because they're a very good side," All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek in relation to England's Six Nations campaign on Sunday morning.

Hansen refused to be drawn on who will be the bigger threat - Ireland or England - to New Zealand come next year's World Cup.

Beyond that, he did have a few words to say in relation to Ireland. He hailed the job Joe Schmidt has done over the last five years while also suggesting that how Ireland managed its players post-Lions had much to do with their Grand Slam success.

"Ireland have been a good side for quite some time," said Hansen.

Joe's done a great job with them, another great coach.

The Irish players themselves, the running of the game administratively is good, it's strong. They've got central contracting which allows them to maybe have a bit more control over playing time and player welfare better than the countries where they don't have that luxury.

You see the result of that. Guys are coming out and even though they've been on the Lions tour, the same tour that the English boys have been on, they've had the opportunity to rest up and be mentally and emotionally and physically able to go out and play good test rugby.

They're believing in themselves and have a lot of confidence.


Hansen also said that though he may continue coaching following his time with the All Blacks - he refused to confirm whether or not he will continue in his current role beyond the World Cup - he will not be taking over as England head coach in the future.

Writing for New Zealand website, Stuff.co.nz, Tony Smith said that Schmidt should be the man who succeeds Hansen as New Zealand head coach.


"Joe Schmidt will surely be the third Kiwi to win World Rugby's coach of the year and should become the next All Blacks coach," wrote Smith.

"The imperious manner of Ireland's Six Nations Grand Slam triumph should be enough to convince New Zealand Rugby that Steve Hansen's replacement is domiciled in Dublin.

"Internal succession planning is a fine concept, in principle, but why look past a proven winner?"


He also added that Ireland are "the All Blacks' greatest obstacle to a third consecutive World Cup title."

See Also: Peter O'Mahony Shows True Class In Giving Super Fan Six Nations Medal 'For Keeps'

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