New Zealand coaches Steve Hansen and Welshman Warren Gatland will leave their long and successful term at the end of the match for 3rd place on Friday (10:00 am) in Tokyo, where the Leek XV are aiming for their first win against the All Blacks since 1953.
No, the bronze medal will not be awarded by a "drinking game" as, according to Gatland, jokingly suggested the president of the New Zealand federation, Steve Tew, to his Welsh counterpart, Martyn Phillips.
A joke that highlights the difficulty of getting motivated to get an honorary podium after the disillusionment experienced in the semifinals. Where the New Zealanders, double title holders, suffered against England (19-7) their first defeat in the competition since 2007, when the XV Leek, as in 1987 and 2011, failed the doors of the final , beaten by a breath by South Africa (19-16).
Gatland, a New Zealander like Hansen, was already the coach in 2011, who arrived four years earlier.
A lease with four wins in the six-nation tournament, including three Grand Slams to the key (2008, 2012 and 2019), that the 56-year-old technician hopes to embellish a first personal victory against New Zealand.
- Hansen, first -
"We are disappointed not to be in the final, but we have a chance to write a bit of history against the All Blacks, 66 years without beating a team, it's been a long time, we beat all the other nations," said Gatland. , who will lead the British and Irish Lions for the third time during their summer 2021 tour in South Africa.
"There are a lot of issues, even if both teams are disappointed not to participate in the + big game + There is a lot of pride involved, a victory would be something special for us" he adds .
Hansen, three years older than Gatland, has never fought for third place, and for good reason: coach since the after World-2011 after being an assistant, he faced the XV of the Rose his first defeat in World Cup as head coach of the All Blacks.
He smiles - "this is the first time I have to do that" - but recognizes the challenge at this meeting. For the Welsh, which he coached from 2002 to 2004 and for whom "a victory might come back to win the World Cup", but for his team and him, too.
A defeat and the All Blacks would come out the little door. Hansen, announced on the side of the Japanese championship and Toyota Verblitz in the coming weeks, would leave him, as captain Kieran Read (34, 126 sel.) On a false note.
After losing only 10 of his 107 appearances to the head of the selection, he brought him a world title in 2015 and six Rugby Championship.
© 2019 AFP