Steve Hansen earns big tick for media relations

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Steve Hansen
Getty
OPEN AND HONEST: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Concussion set to sideline Crusaders No 8 Kieran Read for Hurricanes encounter All Blacks Julian Savea and Brodie Retallick set to re-sign with NZ Rugby for another four years Dan Carter ponders career for American audience Reason: Officials potentially biggest impediment to All Black glory New Zealand Rugby fights Brazil clothing company over use of fern Charles Piutau blocked from Blues next year to avoid dangerous precedent issue All Blacks bolters - ranking the top five contenders for Rugby World Cup spot Broadcast revenue windfall set to boost players and provincial unions' earnings NZ Rugby trying to stop Highlanders wing Waisake Naholo's move to France - reports Steve Hansen's top XV headaches: Right wing and who to pick at No 10

The accolades keep coming for Steve Hansen. The International Rugby Board and New Zealand Rugby Union coach of the year received a bouquet - and warning - from his boss yesterday.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said the transformation of Hansen's public persona was a highlight of the rugby year.

During his eight years as Graham Henry's assistant, Hansen was often viewed as a grumpy curmudgeon with a distaste for public relations duties and media interviews.

But a change in attitude, possibly a reflection of the tutelage received from PR guru Ian Fraser in recent years, and a convincing record of 12 wins, one draw and a loss, resulted in Hansen displaying a sense of humour and being refreshingly honest about team selections.

Tew admitted he wished Hansen had showed his sunny side earlier.

"Steve has done a good job. He has become a lot more confident and open with you guys [the media] and I think the real Steve Hansen has come out, which is something I have been seeking to happen for quite a lot of time."

Before Hansen replaced Henry it is understood the former's reluctance to engage with the public through the media was a concern for some NZRU administrators.

Those fears have been soothed but Tew is also cautious about getting too hyped about the dramatic turnaround.

"But he has also had a very good year," Tew said. "The test will be if we have a more challenging set of results, won't it. That is when you have got to deal with the tougher side of the relationship we have with the media."

An NZRU review of Hansen's performance has not yet been started but it seems likely he will want to keep his management crew and selector Grant Fox involved.

Tew was also impressed by how Hansen dealt with the loss of his father, Des, who died days before the test against the Wallabies in Brisbane on October 20.

"Steve is a very confident, I think a very humorous individual and we are just seeing a bit more of the normal Steve Hansen," Tew said.

"He has had a tough year, actually. I thought he got through losing Des really well. It was very challenging to lose his father, who he was close to."

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content