Rugby: Deans wanted to be 'martyr', says Hansen

Robbie Deans. Photo by Reuters
Robbie Deans. Photo by Reuters
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has added fuel to talk of his fiery 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.

Hansen and Deans, both former Crusaders coaches, have endured a difficult relationship which isn't likely to improve in the short term after the former's comments on The Weight of a Nation, a two-hour Sky documentary on the story behind the 2011 World Cup which screened last night.

"If you want my honest opinion, I don't think Robbie wanted it [the All Blacks job] anyway," Hansen said. "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 are going to be your running mates?' - knowing that the opposition [Sir 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?"


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