Following hot on the heels of his countryman Graham Henry, the former Canterbury centre took over from his fellow Kiwi in 2002. His overall record of 10 wins from 29 games doesn’t suggest a fruitful time with Wales but he always insisted he was looking at the bigger picture and building a brighter future with Wales.
Welsh fans certainly went through the good times and bad under Hansen, with the 2002/2003 season certainly proving an eventful campaign. For the first time in Welsh history, Wales lost every match in the Six Nations Championship and went on to record a streak of 11 consecutive Test defeats.
On the plus side, Wales confounded the critics in the World Cup. Under his leadership Wales gave New Zealand a mighty scare in the 2003 World Cup before seeing their impressive run halted by eventual champions England.
Hansen left his post in 2004 to return to New Zealand where he eventually teamed up with Henry and took the All Blacks to the 2007 World Cup, where as favourites, they lost a quarter-final clash, ironically in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, to giant killers France.
Steve Hansen News
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