All Black coaching legend Steve Hansen is set to join the Bulldogs coaching staff as a high-performance consultant, per The Brisbane Times.
Hansen will work alongside incoming coach Trent Barrett to bring some of the best Rugby Union talent from across the Tasman to help rebuild the club.
The All Black legend will travel over to Sydney on a regular basis to assist in the rebuild and to impose himself on the organisation as much as possible.
Incoming Bulldogs coach Barrett had been in the company of Hansen and the All Blacks at the end of 2018, shortly after leaving Manly.
Hansen played a significant role in both the 2011 and 2015 All Blacks World Cup victories. In the earlier year he supported Graham Henry in his support staff and led the side to a successful title defense in 2015.
Hansen’s move to the Bulldogs has come with the opportunity to bring over some rugby union talent to help bolster the clubs performances.
“Not only will he be helping those across the club now, he will absolutely be part of the recruitment plans,” Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill said.
“To have players coached by Trent and our other staff, and to have someone of his experience helping, will be enormous.
“The benefits are far-reaching. Initially the focus is on rebuilding. He respects us as a club, he respects our DNA, he’s not here to change who the Bulldogs are – he’s here to complement it with the best of the All Blacks and Canterbury DNA coming together.
“[But] absolutely, he will be part of recruitment. Who knows, we might have rugby union players. It signals we’re heading in the right direction and it’s a vote of confidence. It’s a massive coup.”
Hansen’s arrival has been months in the making, with moves being made to bring him to the club not long after Barrett was announced to take over in 2021.
“It signals we’re heading in the right direction and it’s a vote of confidence. It’s a massive coup.”
The Bulldogs had a disappointing season and could have easily been below the Broncos on the ladder if not for a miracle win against the Rabbitohs late in the season.
“It’s very exciting for the Bulldogs to have someone of Steve’s calibre associated with our club. He will be of great help as a sounding board for myself and our coaching staff, our players and administration” Barrett said.
“On top of his achievements, he’s a great fella and we are looking forward to working with him.”
Barrett has been active in bringing players to the club since his arrival, with Roosters halfback Kyle Flanagan, Canberra winger Nick Cotric and Panthers prop Jack Hetherington all joining the Bulldogs. The inclusions are likely to be the first of many for the new coach.
Former football club director Steve Price stepped down from his position at the club after only accepting the role in August 2019.
Those discussing Price’s decision have said that on Wednesday both he and the club were close to finalizing his departure.
The news comes not long after former board members Lynne Anderson, Paul Dunn and John Ballesty quit earlier this month. Prompted by annoyed sponsors and voting members who called a general meeting to remove individuals.
The movement at board level has not stopped Barrett from hitting the ground running and making an instant impact at the club.
“The last few player announcements have been really well received and there’s no doubt the All Blacks are one of the most revered and respected organisations in worldwide sport and to have a leader of that organisation really keen to be involved with us is fantastic,” Hill said.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us at the club.”