Kiwi influence not rating on world rugby's stage

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 07:58 05/08/2014
Steve Hansen
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MAN OF INFLUENCE: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

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Steve Hansen is the highest-placed New Zealander on a new list of world rugby's most influential people - but the All Blacks coach only comes in at No 4.

The list, compiled by British magazine Rugby World, was released in their latest edition and has a strong northern feel to it.

Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of Premiership Rugby, topped the order of merit after he successfully oversaw the creation of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

World referees boss Joel Jutge was placed second ahead of England rugby's chief executive Ian Ritchie, who helped broker the peace deal in Europe that threatened the professional game.

There were only four Kiwis on the list despite New Zealand's dominance.

Hansen earned his place after overseeing a seamless coaching transition since taking over from Sir Graham Henry in the wake of the All Blacks' 2011 World Cup triumph.

The All Blacks have been all-conquering under Hansen and were seeking a world record 18th consecutive win in their next test, against Australia, having recorded a perfect test season last year.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was recognised for his contribution to that, albeit placing a lowly 13th.

The other two Kiwis honoured didn't even operate out of New Zealand.

Ireland's Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt was at No 14 after a successful introduction to the test ranks with the men in green and Wales' Kiwi gaffer Warren Gatland was 19th, with recognition given to his successful duties with the British & Irish Lions.

RUGBY'S MOST INFLUENTIAL TOP 20

1 Mark McCafferty, chief executive of Premiership Rugby

2 Joel Jutge, match official manager for the International Rugby Board (IRB)

3 Ian Ritchie, RFU chief executive

4 Steve Hansen, New Zealand head coach

5 Brian O'Driscoll, former Ireland and Lions captain, now a BT Sport pundit

6 Agustin Pichot, Argentina Rugby Union (UAR) representative

7 Eric Bale, head of rugby at Canal Plus

8 Jonny Wilkinson, former England and Toulon fly half, now a club coach

9 Brett Gosper, IRB chief executive

10 Stuart Lancaster, England head coach

11 John Jeffrey, IRB rugby committee chairman

12 Debbie Jevans, chief executive of England Rugby 2015

13 Richie McCaw, New Zealand captain

14 Joe Schmidt, Ireland head coach

15 Ed Griffiths, Saracens chief executive

16 Nigel Melville, USA Rugby chief executive

17 Sam Warburton, Wales captain who has signed a central contract

18 Eddie Jones, head coach of Japan and double World Cup winner

19 Warren Gatland, head coach of Wales and 2013 Lions

20 Maggie Alphonsi, England flanker

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