Steve Hansen looked like he had a weight taken off his shoulders when he announced he was ending his All Blacks coaching career, writes Jamie Wall
“I am a totally different man to when I first started coaching,” said Steve Hansen.
You could tell straight away what Steve Hansen was going to say to the huge group of assembled media at the Auckland’s Heritage Hotel on Friday morning. He strode into the room wearing a plain shirt. It was the first time I could remember in the last two seasons that he fronted the cameras without an All Blacks branded suit or tracksuit jacket.
It was jarring. He didn’t look like the man some of us had been following around New Zealand and the rest of the rugby world for the previous six months. Hansen is a constant fixture in every major announcement to do with the team, whether it’s naming the match day 23 or breaking injury news. Now though, he was sitting in front of us having shed the skin of his role as one of the most powerful people in the country, appearing like any other middle-aged New Zealand bloke.