Rugby World Cup: Cancel his citizenship, jokes Prime Minister Chris Hipkins of Sir Steve Hansen's Australian switch

Ripples continue to be felt from Sir Steve Hansen's link with the Wallabies before this year's Rugby World Cup, with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins - jokingly - suggesting his citizenship should be cancelled.

Former All Blacks coach Hansen, who assisted Sir Graham Henry to the 2011 Rugby World Cup and guided New Zealand to glory four years later, has committed to helping Australia on a short-term basis.

Sir Steve has told Newstalk ZB he is "helping a mate", coming to the aid of Eddie Jones, who is winless in four tests this year, since taking charge of the Wallabies for a second time.

Sir Steve and Jones are close friends, after coaching against each other often throughout their careers.

But before Labour's caucus meeting on Tuesday, Hipkins hasn't held back in his appraisal of Hansen's next move.

"I think we should cancel his citizenship," said the Prime Minister. "That's a joke, just to be very clear."

Current All Blacks who played under Sir Steve have offered mixed reviews on his crossing the ditch. 

"Shag, what are you up to?" said hooker Dane Coles, who was part of the 2015 World Cup-winning side. "That hurts a little bit, to be fair."

Meanwhile, Ardie Savea, who was part of the unsuccessful 2019 campaign, is more understanding of his former coach's movements.

"Everyone's got to do what they've got to do," said Savea. "Good on him."

Sir Steve will help the Wallabies over the coming week, as they prepare to face World Cup hosts France in Paris, as their final World-Cup warm-up.

Join Newshub at 6:30am Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Springboks World Cup warm-up