London (AFP) - Five facts on New Zealand coach Steve Hansen after he won the World Coach of the Year award in London on Sunday:
+ Hansen took over from Graham Henry as Wales coach in 2002. He was their ninth coach in 13 years and Wales lost all five of their Six Nations games in his first campaign in 2003. One newspaper poll named Hansen the second-most-hated man in Wales, behind Osama bin Laden and just ahead of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. He restored some pride when Wales went close to beating eventual champions England in the 2003 World Cup quarter-finals. Hansen quit in 2004. But he is not bitter about the period. "The biggest thing I learned in Wales was you have to get the culture right, everybody putting the team first rather than themselves," he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper later. "I think about it every day when I'm coaching because I learned so much there."
+ Hansen has a sense of humour and has kept some customs picked up from his time abroad as a player at French side La Rochelle. He even expressed admiration for the way French men embrace each other when they meet. "I enjoyed how the family thing operated in France, with males in particular," Hansen told The New Zealand Herald in November 2013. "When they met for the first time in the morning, they'd say they loved (each other) and kiss. I found it pretty strange to see males kiss each other like that, but it was so right, they were just showing their love for each other. We don't do stuff like that so much here but maybe that'll change over time."
+ Hansen's late father and mother, Des and Lauriss, brought him up on a dairy farm with his two brothers and a sister where his father also trained race horses. "We can learn a lot from horses," says Hansen, who at one point thought about a career as a jockey. "I enjoy their company and have a lot of respect for them. There's a lot of non-verbal stuff going on there," he told the New Zealand Herald. He even indulged in a horse whispering course. "There was no way I could bully it into doing what I wanted," he said of the horse he was assigned to deal with.
+ After a playing career which did not yield an All Black cap Hansen enjoyed a successful coaching career with Canterbury guiding them to two national provincial titles. Through that he was hired as assistant coach for the Super Rugby franchise Canterbury Crusaders, first under Wayne Smith, and then Robbie Deans, both of whom became All Blacks head coaches. In his time there, the Crusaders won two Super Rugby trophies in 1999 and 2000. He was though never to become the chief Crusader. Despite being tipped for promotion when he returned from his stint in Wales he lost out to former All Black captain Todd Blackadder.
+ Success has brought strains on his family life as two previous marriages attest to. The father of two sons and two daughters was away on tours when his mother and father died. He flew back to see his mother Lauriss, who had cancer, during the 2007 World Cup as the All Blacks prepared to play France in the quarter-finals, but his mother told him to go back for the match which New Zealand lost. "Was that a difficult time? Shit, yes. Losing someone like that, and then the massive sense of guilt over the Cup that came with it. I carried that around with me and I had to set it right," he told the New Zealand Herald in 2013. "We're away about 250 days a year, every year, so there's guilt about missing the kids, sport and birthdays. Sometimes there's a lot of guilt."