MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 02:10:54

Steve Hansen plays down Graham Henry succession rumours

Hansen plays down Henry succession rumours
© PA Photos
New Zealand assistant coach Steve Hansen plays down rumours suggesting that he will succeed coach Graham Henry after Sunday's World Cup final.

New Zealand assistant coach Steve Hansen has played down suggestions that he is to succeed Graham Henry after Sunday's World Cup final.

Henry will step down after the match at Eden Park but Hansen, who previously replaced his superior as Wales coach, has insisted that he is only concentrating on the match against France.

"Four years ago we got knocked out in the quarter-final of a World Cup, and three coaches (Henry, Hansen and Wayne Smith) made a decision to try and re-get the job, and we did that," he said.

"We were lucky enough to get reappointed, and last weekend we earned the right to turn up on Sunday at nine o'clock to try and win the thing.

"That is the only thing I am thinking about. I don't really care what happens after Sunday. All I am focusing on is trying to get a team ready to turn up to win."

Sunday's match is a repeat of the tournament's inaugural final of 1987.

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