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'Martyr' Deans didn't want Kiwi job, says Hansen

Date

Paul Cully

'Martyr' ... Robbie Deans.

'Martyr' ... Robbie Deans. Photo: Simon Alekna

ALL BLACKS coach Steve Hansen has lifted the lid further on his uneasy relationship with Wallabies rival Robbie Deans, questioning whether Deans actually wanted the All Blacks job after the 2007 World Cup and claiming he wanted to be portrayed as ''the martyr'' when he didn't get it.

''If you want my honest opinion, I don't think Robbie wanted it [the All Blacks job] anyway,'' Hansen told The Weight of a Nation, a candid two-hour documentary on the story behind the 2011 World Cup that screened in New Zealand on Sunday night. ''I think Robbie had already signed for Australia.

''I think he just went through the motions and wanted to be the martyr if he didn't get it, so he wins on both sides of the table. That's how I felt about it because you don't go to a [New Zealand Rugby Union] selection meeting and when asked, 'Who is going to be your running mates?' - knowing that the opposition [Graham Henry] has got two pretty good candidates [Hansen and Wayne Smith] behind him - with a wishy-washy answer. He did.

''And that's why he lost the job, from my understanding. So, did he really want the job?''

The reappointment of Henry, Hansen and Smith - and the issue of Deans's choice of assistants - has long been a subject of conjecture, with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw also addressing the issue in his book, The Open Side, this year. McCaw, who was coached by Deans at the Crusaders and by Henry, Hansen and Smith at national level, formed the opinion that none of the candidates thought they were going to get the job, a position reinforced by Henry and Smith in The Weight of a Nation.

''In our gut, we probably thought that Robbie would get the job,'' Chiefs assistant coach Smith said. ''And I don't think any of us would have begrudged that, because of his record and how well he had done. I still remember - Steve and I didn't have to go to the interview and 'Ted' [Henry] did - the phone went that evening and it was Ted saying, 'We're buggered mate'. And I said, 'Oh well, Ted, at least we had a crack at it and he said, 'Oh yeah, but the interview didn't go well and I think we're buggered.' ''

Henry said he was equally as surprised at getting a second chance. ''I didn't think I'd get the job,'' he said. ''I thought they'd appoint Robbie. I went down to the interview in Wellington, had the interview, didn't do the interview well … got too emotional.''

Henry also revealed that, even after the reappointment, he thought his hold on the job was fragile after Deans coached the Wallabies to a comprehensive 34-19 victory against the All Blacks in Sydney in 2008 - the first of their many duels at Test level.

''We got beaten by Robbie,'' Henry said. ''But that's when people get tight and get together and get totally focused and do the business. And we had to do the business at Eden Park the week after Sydney, otherwise I think we would have gone.''

The All Blacks won that match 39-10, shoring up Henry's position and beginning a period of frustration for Deans and the Wallabies.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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