Steve Hansen confirms Japan move

Steve Hansen confirms Japan move

Former New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that he has taken up a role with the Toyota Verblitz as director of rugby ahead of the next Top League season in Japan.

In a video statement, Hansen said his role with Toyota Verblitz would be more as a consultant rather than a coach.

“I’m really looking forward to joining Toyota Verblitz,” Hansen said in a comment through the team.

“They are a strong club with great values. Whilst trying to win competitions will be important, so too will be building a culture and an environment that we can all be proud of.”

The 60-year-old New Zealander's tenure with the All Blacks ended after they finished third at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, where they beat Wales 40-17 in the bronze-medal match.

The highly acclaimed Hansen, who joins former All Blacks captain Kieran Read in moving to the Top League team, will be working alongside former New South Wales Waratahs assistant Simon Cron who is now the Verblitz head coach.

"The opportunity to help him grow is something that really excites me," Hansen said.

"While we want a winning Toyota Verblitz team, we also want an environment at the club that people can be proud of and that is very much like a family, like the sort of thing we had in the All Blacks.

"While it's not a full-time coaching role, it's a role that still allows me to stay in the game."

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