Rugby World Cup: Emotional New Zealand coach Steve Hansen bows out with win

Steve Hansen
Steve Hansen celebrated with his wife after the match

An emotional Steven Hansen said it was a "privilege" to lead New Zealand after they beat Wales 40-17 in his final game to claim third place at the World Cup.

Hansen, who led the All Blacks to victory at the 2015 World Cup, said it was important to "honour the jersey" after the semi-final loss to England.

"It was a tough game for both sides so congratulations to Wales too," he said.

"We have played good footy all the way through, but you have one bad day and you're out. That's knockout footy."

Hansen ends a 15-year association with the All Blacks, having joined the set-up as assistant to predecessor Graham Henry in 2004.

The 60-year-old took over from Henry in December 2011, just weeks after the All Blacks won the World Cup on home soil, and has since achieved an 87% win ratio.

He has also won six Rugby Championship titles and four Coach of the Year awards, and the departing coach paid tribute to his players and the supporters as he left his post.

"It was important to honour the fans and put that one last week behind us," he said. "I'm really proud of the boys."

'Immensely proud'

On a poignant day for the All Blacks, the three-time world champions also said goodbye to stalwart and captain Kieran Read.

The powerful number eight, who has won 127 caps as well as two world titles, said it was "awesome to pull on the jersey" in his final game.

"I'm immensely proud to see a crowd like this," the 34-year-old said. "The guys appreciate what it means to be an All Black, I love it.

"This jersey means a lot, it's been part of my life for a long time. You try and leave it in a better place than you found it - that was my aim and hopefully I've done it."

Read still intends to play professional rugby and will join Japanese club Toyota Verblitz on a one-year deal after the tournament.

He added: "Japan have been great hosts and we thank you for your support."

Kieran Read
Departing All Black captain Kieran Read was joined by his children after the game

Top Stories

Explore the BBC