OPINION: The next All Blacks coach should be warned – the New Zealand rugby public won’t be so forgiving of another World Cup failure.
With Steve Hansen’s reign over the search starts for his successor.
There’s a long list of potential candidates for arguably the most demanding job in the game and those demands have just increased as the All Blacks come to grips with their failed defence of the Webb Ellis Cup and a bronze medal finish at the 2019 tournament in Japan.
Hansen has set seemingly impossible standards with his record run in charge but those standards slipped as they exited in the semifinals with a crushing loss to England and their long run at No 1 in the rankings evaporated during a tournament where they ended up as the No 2 ranked team behind new world champions South Africa.
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Much has been made of the maturity New Zealand has shown over this defeat, a response that contrasts with some of the very ugly reactions to similar exits in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007.
It’s amazing what a bit of success does and the 2011 and 2015 wins allowed the country to handle the current disappointment with a bit of a shrug of the shoulders, saying “we’ve had our time, let someone else have a go”.
But that won’t last long.
The drought from 1987 to 2011 was a long and painful 24 years and we are now four years into the new cycle of denial.
It won’t take long for the insatiable beast that is the All Blacks followers to demand a World Cup win again.
That will start with…