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Steve Hansen

2013The year was full of spectacular moments and performances as well as disappointing lows and infamous incidents; we name and shame the best and worst in our 2013 Awards.

New Zealand and Wales ruled their respective hemispheres for the second successive year, the All Blacks enjoying a flawless 2013 campaign.

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New ZealandKieran ReadSteve HansenAll Blacks and Crusaders vice captain Kieran Read has been named the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year for 2013.

New Zealand rugby claimed a triple scoop on the awards as the All Blacks were also named team of the year while coach of the year went to Steve Hansen.

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New ZealandAll Blacks coach Steve Hansen was a proud man after a dramatic comeback against Ireland capped an unbeaten year for his side.

The world champions were forced to come from behind to become the first team to win every match in a calendar year in the professional era.

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New ZealandIt was not the perfect weekend for the All Blacks, with France running them close. This begs the question whether Daniel Carter is still the flyhalf maestro he once was.

All Blacks coach, Steve Hansen, says the All Blacks will be better against England compared to how they went against France.

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New ZealandSteve HansenAs expected, New Zealand All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has given his charges the week off after their stellar performance over the weekend, clinching The Rugby Championship against the Springboks from South Africa.

They are nursing quite a number of bumps and bruises, the result from the hard encounter with the Springboks.

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New ZealandRichie McCawThe All Blacks headed to South Africa on Monday banking on the return of talismanic captain Richie McCaw to put the seal on another successful season.

Although New Zealand require just a single bonus point to retain their Rugby Championship title, they are determined to seal it by beating arch rivals South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday.

And the All Blacks are confident they will have McCaw in their arsenal.

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Steve HansenNew Zealand rejected suggestions that Argentina will resort to foul play in Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test in Hamilton as they brace for a physical challenge from the South Americans.

Argentina came under the microscope after their recent defeat to South Africa, with Leonardo Senatore receiving a nine-week suspension for biting while Pablo Matera was accused of eye-gouging, though he was found not guilty.

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New ZealandUncapped Hurricanes loose forward Brad Shields has been included in a 30-man All Black training squad who will gather in Auckland this week ahead of the Rugby Championship.

Blues utility back Francis Saili is the second uncapped player included in the squad by All Black coach Steve Hansen, who has as expected welcomed back captain Richie McCaw.

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The All Blacks selectors, Coach Steve Hansen, Assistant Coach Ian Foster and fellow selector Grant Fox, have selected 35 players to attend two training camps ahead of the three Steinlager Series Tests against Ireland.

The first wider training group camp will be held in Auckland from next Sunday 20 May – Tuesday 22 May with the second camp in Wellington from Sunday 27 May – Tuesday 29 May.

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The forgone conclusion has been made official – Steve Hansen is the new All Blacks coach.

Hansen has been announced as Graham Henry’s successor at a media conference in Wellington this afternoon after the New Zealand Rugby Union board met earlier today to consider the appointment.

Hansen was the only candidate recommended by an appointments panel to go through to a full interview with the board, which unanimously voted for him.

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A perfect Autumn evening in Johannesburg. Not too hot, no wind, and no threat of rain.

Perfect that is until the Blues from Aukland spoilt it all for the vast majority of the 26 532 people at Coca Cola Park in downtown Johannesburg.

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Less than a week until Super Rugby 2011 kick off in it’s new expanded format.

Although our friends in the Cape will argue that the traditional “North v South” game is the Stormers v Bulls, for many Rugby Lovers in Gauteng, the North v South refers to the Jukskei River, and the rivalry between the teams from the country’s Administrative Capital city, and the African continent’s economic “Capital” city.

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