The search for Steve Hansen’s successor is in full swing in New Zealand.
We do not know who it will be, but the bloke had better be ready to suffer the slings and arrows of ascending to a role where comparisons to Hansen will not be limited to football results only.
The new man might face a presser where he is asked why he did not enter the car park at Trafalgar by the same route Hansen took.
One prominent name that has arisen in the hunt to fill the All Blacks coaching vacancy is that of Tony Brown, who has indicated that he would be loyal to Jamie Joseph, who took Japan to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Brown has said, “I think our relationship [with Joseph], how we coach, how we know each other is what I love about the game of rugby. I’ve decided that me and him, wherever he goes I will go. I’m not sure where that is.”
Brown has limits to his loyalty to Joseph, however, as he has ruled out following Joseph to the Wallabies, if that eventuality were to unfold as Australia seeks a replacement for Michael Cheika.
Warren Gatland might make a logical choice, but the Hamilton born coach has an agreement to take the British and Irish Lions on tour to South Africa in 2021, so New Zealand might find Gatland a costly selection.
We would suggest that the new New Zealand coach might need protection from a mob of torch and pitchfork wielding New Zealand peasants should the All Blacks commit the unforgiveable sin and lose a game to Australia, but everyone knows there are no peasants in New Zealand.
New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey is part of a panel of five that will make the decision on Hansen’s replacement and he did little to temper expectations when he told reporters, “This is a hugely exciting time for New Zealand Rugby. We know that the All Blacks and New Zealand have been served well by exceptional coaches, so we are well aware of the importance of the task ahead.”