Former New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has confirmed his long-expected move to Japan where he will take up a role as coaching consultant with Top League side Toyota Verblitz.
The 60-year-old stepped down from the All Blacks following their third-place finish at the Rugby World Cup this year.
Hansen spent 16 years with the team, the last eight as head coach, and was a part of two successful World Cup campaigns.
“I’ve got a new job which involves me mentoring, consulting and advising at Toyota Verblitz,” he said in a video on the All Blacks website.
“It’s not as a head coach, it’s more as an advisor, a mentor, and it requires me to be up there for five to 17 weeks a year.”
馃摻锔?WATCH | Outgoing All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen has confirmed his next career move to Toyota Verblitz in Japan's Top League. pic.twitter.com/BPsOQfj72K
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) December 2, 2019
Toyota are coached by fellow New Zealander Simon Cron, who was an assistant at the New South Wales Waratahs for two years until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.
“The key thing is to go in and work with the people in the environment,” Hansen added.
“The opportunity to help him [Cron] grow is something that really excites me.
“While it’s not a full-time coaching role, it’s a role that still allows me to stay in the game. It’s also a role that will allow me to have the family time that I want to have and I’m really looking forward to it.”
New Zealand media had reported earlier this year that Hansen was headed to Japan after the World Cup but he said on Monday he had not signed anything until after the tournament had ended.