Rugby World Cup 2019: Steve Hansen reduced to tears during post-match interview

The Steve Hansen era ended on Friday night as the All Blacks beat Wales 40-17 in the bronze final at the Rugby World Cup in Tokyo. 

Hansen has been with the All Blacks for 16 years, spending eight years as an assistant under Sir Graham Henry before succeeding his mentor for the next eight. 

Since taking over as head coach in 2012, he's won 86 percent of his matches and was named World Coach of the Year four times.

He's one of only four All Blacks coaches who have been in charge for more than 10 matches with win rates over 85 percent - the others Fred Allen, Alex Wyllie and Sir Graham.

Hansen was lost for words when asked about his coaching career, and brought to tears when the Japanese crowd started cheering. 

The 60-year-old waved to the sell-out crowd, acknowledging the cheers and clapping, before giving a simple five-word answer: "It has been a privilege." 

Rugby World Cup 2019: Steve Hansen reduced to tears during post-match interview

With tears welling in his eyes, he managed to say "thank you" before walking away. 

Hansen managed to compose himself for the post-match news conference shortly after. 

"I'd just like to say how proud I am of our team. There was a lot of external talk about not wanting to play this game. 

"We've come off an extremely disappointing result against England, where we got beaten by a team that played better than us on the day, but we've come back and showed some real character and commitment to the jersey, so hopefully we've made a lot of New Zealanders proud."

Hansen added he's going to try to enjoy life away from the All Blacks, admitting it will be nice to have a beer while watching the team play in the future. 

"It'll be pretty good, I reckon. Beer in one hand, and access to another one in the other hand. No pressure.

"You'll always be connected to the team. It's like a family, and you'll always want it to do well. One thing I promise, so you don't come bothering me, I won't be talking about what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. If you ring me and ask me that, it won't be a very good conversation.

"I'm looking forward to quality time with Tasha. She's been a fantastic support. I couldn't have done the job without her. She's a better leader than I am, she's wiser, she's better looking and smarter, so she ticks all the boxes.

"I wish and hope this team continues to grow and get better, and I will look on it with great pride. And you want the game to get better, because without it we'd be a fairly miserable lot."

Steve Hansen's All Blacks' record 

  • Played: 108
  • Won: 93
  • Drawn: 5
  • Lost: 10

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