Steve Hansen has taken a swipe at British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland’s over the latter’s recent comments regarding the Lions’ recent tour of New Zealand.
Gatland, who hails from the land of the long white cloud, said he was shocked by his treatment from the New Zealand press during the Lions’ tour and that he found the constant negativity from the media disappointing.
The All Blacks boss has responded to these claims by saying he was shocked by Gatland’s comments and that criticism from the media is part of the job when coaching at Test level.
“I’ve only just heard it [Gatland’s comments] because I don’t read too much about what coaches are saying and doing,” Hansen told New Zealand’s Radio Sport.
“Why would you hate coaching the Lions? If you hate coaching, don’t do it. I love coaching any team I’ve been involved in – that’s the reason I’m doing it.
“I’m lucky enough to coach the All Blacks, which is fantastic, if you are lucky enough to coach the Lions it is also fantastic.”
Hansen said the pressure which Gatland experienced during the Lions’ tour to New Zealand was “what you get all the time with the All Blacks”.
“Welcome to our world,” he added.
“You are under constant pressure, constant scrutiny. People expect you to be able to front up and do the job well.
“In the All Blacks’ case, we are expected to win every Test match and win it well.
“You don’t want to change those expectations – they drive your own inner expectations to be even higher. It drives that necessity to want to always be better.
“You don’t always achieve that on a daily basis, but if you are trying to be better every day at least you are giving yourself a chance.”
Hansen said he enjoyed it that New Zealand supporters set such high standards for the team.
“That’s exactly what we should be doing. Everyone in our group is trying to do that – to win every test match with attractive rugby,” he added.
“Is it possible to do all the time? I’m not sure. But there is nothing stopping you from trying to. And I wouldn’t be doing the job if I didn’t still have the same passion.”