Rugby | Hansen: Others can call us the greatest

Steve Hansen and Richie McCaw

Twickenham – Steve Hansen has achieved his goal of the All Blacks winning consecutive World Cups, but he sidestepped suggestions his class of 2015 is the greatest team of all time.

“That will be for others to say,” he said, as he portrayed the All Blacks, who beat Australia 34-17 on Saturday, as a bunch of nice guys rather than debate whether they were the best of all time.

The Twickenham triumph made New Zealand the first team to win back-to-back titles and the first to win the World Cup three times.

For Hansen it was the realisation of a four-year project since the All Blacks won their second world crown in Auckland in 2011.

British bookmakers have already made the All Blacks an even money chance to make it three in a row and win the 2019 tournament in Japan.

Hansen was assistant coach in 2011 when New Zealand beat France 8-7. He took over just after and since then the All Blacks have played 54 Tests and won a remarkable 49, with two drawn and three lost.

“It’s massively satisfying,” he said reflecting on his reign.

“We set out four years ago to do something special. We had to put a full stop very quickly on what happened in 2011 when we started in 2012,” he said.

But while the object was to win the World Cup, Hansen insisted there would have been no bitterness had the plan gone astray.

“We knew before we got here what was going on so we sat down as a team and we said right let’s enjoy this.

“Whilst we had come here to try and win the thing let’s make sure that whether we win, lose or not is irrelevant.

“What we want to be able to do is leave this country with people understanding that we’ve got some good values, we’re not bad people to be around, and enjoy the experience.”

For the All Blacks, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ma’a Nonu and Beauden Barrett scored tries, Dan Carter landed four penalties, two conversions and a drop goal.

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