The quest is and has been on to find the successor to Steve Hansen, as the All Blacks continue to digest the reality that the 2019 Rugby World Cup will end up not in their hands, but those of England or South Africa.
Hansen has one game remaining before he stands down, a bronze medal game with Wales Friday next in Tokyo.
The name of Warren Gatland was invoked as a potential candidate to put on the big boots Hansen will leave, but New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew has indicated that Gatland has a commitment to the British and Irish Lions.
Gatland will lead the Lions for their 2021 tour and he also has a job as the coach of the Chiefs in Super Rugby.
Tew himself is bound for new destinations, but he outlined reasons why Gatland is out of the running in an interview with Radio Sport.
“I think to coach the All Blacks and the Lions in a four-year period would be impossible,” said Tew.
New Zealand will not take the task of naming Hansen’s successor lightly. They intend to use a four-member panel to look at and interview candidates for the job many consider the peach of the crop.
Tew also had some words of solace for New Zealand fans.
“This is sport. The best team won and it wasn’t us. I am very proud of this team and how they carry themselves,” he said.”I think people should take a deep breath and let it go.Everyone is hurting. These are not easy days.”
He could have stopped after the first three words, but the idea of taking a deep breath and letting it go is one that many of us could use on myriad occasions, not just when our footy team suffers a heart-wrenching loss.
So, New Zealanders, take that deep breath, but do not wait until 2023 to exhale.