In announcing his decision, Hansen said while he still had the desire, energy and commitment to continue in the role – as well as the support of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby – he felt that the end of the 2019 season was the right time to stand down so he could spend more time with his family.
Hansen has been head coach of the All Blacks since 2012 and prior to that was an assistant coach for eight years.
“After being involved in the All Blacks for 16 years, I do feel it’s right for the team for me to stand down. I think change after the Rugby World Cup will bring a new outlook for the team and it’ll be time for someone else to enhance the legacy of the All Blacks,” he told the All Blacks’ website.
Hansen revealed there had been no pressure from his family to step aside.
“As only people who have done the job will understand, there are not only heavy demands on yourself, but also on your family. My family has given me unreserved love and support over the last 16 years and I feel it’s now time to make them the sole focus,” he said.
“It’s been a huge privilege to be part of the All Blacks for such a long time and I’m really looking forward to, and excited by the challenges, of the next 12 months. We’ll be attempting to do something that has never been done before – to win three consecutive Rugby World Cups. I’m highly motivated by that, as is the whole group, and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Hansen added he wanted to make the announcement about his future now so that New Zealand Rugby had plenty of time to identify a successor.
“This is a critical process which shouldn’t be rushed and shouldn’t be made in the turbulent period that tends to follow a Rugby World Cup campaign.”