'Amazing coup' as former All Blacks coach Hansen joins Aussie league club

Sydney (AFP) –

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Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has agreed to act as a consultant for struggling Australian rugby league side Canterbury Bulldogs in what the club called "an amazing coup".

Hansen's tenure with New Zealand ended after they finished third at the World Cup in Japan last year and he subsequently took up a job as director of rugby at Japanese side Toyota Verblitz.

He will now act as a high performance consultant for the Bulldogs next season, linking up with new coach Trent Barrett as the club looks to rebound from finishing 15th on the 16-team ladder this year.

Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill hailed Hansen as "one of the most highly respected figures throughout all of sports".

"Steve will work closely with our coaching and management staff, in addition to our players leadership group," he said in a statement late Wednesday.

"To be able to have someone with Steve's record and background work with our staff and players will be a great asset to our club," he added, calling it an "amazing coup".

Hansen was the All Blacks head coach when they won the World Cup in 2015 and an assistant coach when they claimed the title in 2011.

During his time at the helm, New Zealand were World Rugby's team of the year five times, won the Rugby Championship six times and retained the Bledisloe Cup, played annually against Australia, in all eight years.