All Blacks: Coach Steve Hansen hints he may stay with world champions until 2019

Steve Hansen
Steve Hansen has been New Zealand coach since December 2011

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has given his clearest indication yet that he intends to stay in charge of the world champions through to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Hansen's contract runs out at the end of 2017 - but he says his future will be decided by August.

Asked if he was more likely to stay than go he told BBC Sport: "New Zealand Rugby have got to say they're keen too.

"I'm sure if we can sit down, something positive will come."

Hansen said being coach of the All Blacks "is the best job from a New Zealanders' point of view".

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live he added: "But there's four things I've looked at. One is the family… is it right for them? Is it right for the team? Is it right for the [New Zealand] Rugby Union and can I still get up in the morning and motivate myself and the team to improve?

"So if I can't do all those things, I won't do it. If I still think I can do it and the players are keen on me to do it then I'll think about it."

Asked if he still had the hunger to drive the team forward, he said: "That's one thing I find out during the latest series [a 3-0 win over Wales] that it's still there and I love winning and I love that team.

"That combination of questions has been answered for me but there's one or two I've just got to ask myself yet and we'll make a decision before the Rugby Championship."

New Zealand win rugby world cup
New Zealand became the first country to retain the Rugby World Cup when they beat Australia in 2015

Hansen backs Gatland to lead Lions

Hansen, who guided the All Blacks to World Cup success in England in 2015, will lead his side in three Tests against the British & Irish Lions in 2017 before his current deal expires.

He believes Wales' New Zealand-born coach Warren Gatland should lead the touring party and expects a difficult series.

Hansen said: "Gatland should be the frontrunner. He's taken the Lions away before and been successful with them but who knows?

"Rugby politics is just about as bad as the real deal, so who would know what would happen over here.

"If you get it right then you've got something special. So they'll be tough if they get it right."

Former Ireland captain and Lions hooker Keith Wood wants new England coach Eddie Jones to be involved on the 2017 tour, but Hansen said: "Eddie's got a single-minded focus at the moment and that's on England and that's why he's not available.

"If he's going to go as an advisor he may as well be the head coach and I can't see it working, no."

'Great to see England back'

Hansen has been impressed with the way Jones has turned England's form around, culminating in their 3-0 series whitewash in Australia.

The New Zealander said: "I think he's given them a lot of self-belief. He's given them a work ethic.

"They've gone down to Australia and I think they've said 'right we're going to play a really physical hard-nose game'.

"They're going to be a very good side if he continues to grow them.

"It's great for world rugby to see England back and being really competitive."

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