All Blacks hand Steve Hansen new deal through to 2015 World Cup
Last Updated: 10/04/13 10:48am
Steve Hansen: Has introduced new faces into All Blacks squad
Coach Steve Hansen has signed a new contract with the All Blacks through to the 2015 World Cup.
Hansen succeeded Graham Henry in 2011 after the team's World Cup triumph and the New Zealand Rugby Union have backed the 53-year-old with a longer-term extension.
The former Wales coach has introduced fresh talent, with nine new caps being handed out last year, and Hansen is prepared to replace some of his stalwarts if they are not performing on the pitch.
"It's well publicised we have an aging leadership group and... there are a lot of people in the group who want to be in the World Cup squad and some of them aren't going to make it," said Hansen.
"We have to get our balance right in the next two or three years so that if they don't make it we have the right people in place to take their place and produce the rugby performance we are after."
"We have to get our balance right in the next two or three years so that if they don't make it we have the right people in place to take their place and produce the rugby performance we are after.
The core group of the World Cup winning team are now all over 30 or have left to play abroad, while regulars such as Ma'a Nonu, Tony Woodcock and Andrew Hore have been below par in Super Rugby this year.
"We need to be really bold. It would be too easy to go with some of the older guys, but we have to look to the future at some of the younger guys," Hansen said.
"Without naming names now because we haven't named the team, that's the approach we are looking at.
"People who may not have necessarily played 50 or 60 tests. It could be someone who has played four or five, or under 20 but by the time they get to the World Cup that's what they would have played."