Former All Blacks tactician Steve Hansen has revealed that his departed mother’s words inspired him to the Rugby World Cup success.
During 2007 Rugby World Cup Hansen then an assistant coach had to fly home after their 76-14 win over Italy to be with his sick mother.
His mother Lauris was hospitalised with cancer and she persuaded him to return to All Black’s camp and bring the Cup home.
All Blacks failed to achieve his mother’s wish after France beat them 20-18 at Millenium Stadium in the quarterfinal.
His mother passed on in 2008 but her message remained as a motivating factor and All Blacks revenged the loss by edging France 8-7 to become World Champions.
“Personally, my mother had died in the January following the 2007 tournament,” Hansen told WalesOnline.
“She had said ‘bring the World Cup home’ and, when you don’t do that, you feel a sense of not having done the job.
“So, for me, when we did it in 2011, it was like ‘Well there you go mum, that’s the job’s been done, tick’.”
“There was a sense of relief in 2011. We all had different reasons to feel that. For the nation, it was, ‘well, we’ve got that monkey off our back. They can’t tell us we are chokers anymore. As a nation, we had wanted to win it so badly,”
“For Graham [Henry], who was put under an enormous amount of pressure, he would have had his own feelings of tick, job done.”
Hansen also won the World Cup in 2015 as a head coach and he terms it as a satisfying.
“When we did it in 2015, that campaign couldn’t have gone any better. Everything just seemed to fall into place and it was just really satisfying, as opposed to relief.”
His attempt to win the third title was cut short after a loss to England in the 2019 World Cup,
“The funny thing about World Cups – and New Zealand has learned this more than any other team – is you’ve got to get it right or you don’t get the opportunity. In the one just gone, we played really good rugby, bar for one game, and unfortunately, that one game says ‘right, you don’t get a second chance’.
“And England, who played so tremendously well against us, couldn’t back it up in the final.
“They are not easy to win World Cups. In a series, you can drop a game and come back and win the next two and win the series. People don’t remember the one you lose.
“But in a World Cup, if you lose one people remember it because it means you don’t normally win the tournament.”