Hurricanes coach bombshell: ‘I haven’t spoken to Hansen in three years’

Departing Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd says New Zealand needs to address the loss of man and brain power overseas.

The 2016 Super Rugby winning coach will join English club Northampton Saints as director of rugby at the end of this year – joining a long list of top coaches who have headed overseas.

Boyd told the media: “It came down to six or seven (offers)… once you get to Super Rugby head coach in New Zealand there’s nowhere really to go [in this country].

“It is an issue potentially for New Zealand rugby, the experience and intellectual property which ends up overseas.”

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Boyd also said that All Black priorities made it tough for Super coaches.

“I understand and respect the 12-week break the All Blacks need but it is a bit rushed to get them back in,” said Boyd.

When asked if he had consulted anyone at All Black level about the move, Boyd surprisingly revealed: “I haven’t spoken to Steve Hansen in three years so nothing changes in that space.”

Boyd, 59, said it was a heart-wrenching decision to leave the team and city he loved. He deflected any speculation about having All Black aspirations, saying he was not a long-term goal setter while noting heading overseas was almost mandatory to break into the national team’s coaching setup.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done [with the Hurricanes],” said Boyd, who rose from the Tawa club to become the Wellington assistant coach in 2003, and took over at the title-missing Hurricanes in 2015.

“I’m a bit of a tragic, I’ve got the Rugby Channel, and watch all the stuff up there (in Europe).

“I enjoy the subtleties and the differences, always enjoyed the different style of rugby they play.

“If you are successful enough it flows into the European thing, which is exciting… to go to new places, see new styles, work with different people and mentalities, unpick all that stuff.

“It was tough telling the team yesterday. Players react differently… at the end of the day they get on and play rugby.

“Some might have some sadness… the guys I don’t pick on a regular basis might be delighted that I’m moving on. They will all have their own take on it,” Boyd said.

“Nothing changes in the Hurricanes set up. The coaching group is pretty solid. Because I’m leaving at the end of the year nothing will really change.

“Obviously when the Hurricanes make the appointment for the next coach there will be a fair chunk of work to do to make sure the coaching group and roster is in place from 2019 and onwards. So that will be someone else’s work to do.”

The Hurricanes’ All Blacks will play about half a game each against the Blues in Warkworth in a fortnight, before their opening Super Rugby clash against the Bulls in South Africa.

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