Arise, Sir Steve: Former All Blacks coach Hansen knighted in Christchurch ceremony

Source: 1News

Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has been knighted for his services to rugby at a small investiture ceremony in Christchurch this afternoon.

Sir Steve was given the title in this year's New Year Honours list but had to wait until this afternoon to take a knee and receive his medal.

In front of friends, family, and others receiving honours, Sir Steve was knighted by the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

Sir Steve told 1 NEWS in December when he found out he'd been made a Knights Companion of the NZ Order of Merit he felt "immense pride and humbleness".

"To bestow an honour like that, you've done something, you've served an organisation, a sport, or whatever it is that you've done, you've obviously done it well," Sir Steve told 1 NEWS at the time.

“You reflect upon that, it's immense pride I think.”

After linking up with the All Blacks in 2004 as an assistant coach to Sir Graham Henry, Sir Steve took the reigns of the world champions in 2012, having lifted the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

From there though, Sir Steve took a great All Blacks side and made them better, going through the 2013 season unbeaten, before becoming the first side to defend the Rugby World Cup in 2015 in England.

Sir Steve's achievements as coach of the All Blacks had seen him named as World Rugby's coach of the year in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. His tenure also saw the All Blacks named as World Rugby's team of the year from 2012 through to 2017.

From a team perspective, under Sir Steve the All Blacks lifted the Rugby Championship six times in eight years, as well as retaining the Bledisloe Cup over Australia every year from 2012 to 2019.

However, with his New Zealand Rugby deal ending after the 2019 season, Sir Steve announced that he was to leave the All Blacks regardless of the result of that year's Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

The All Blacks finished third after falling to England at the semi-final stage.

Sir Steve thanked those who had helped him on his journey, saying the honour and his success came down to the hard work of others.

"I'll be forever grateful for the talent we've been able to coach, and grateful for the awesome management and back up staff that we've had.

"You can't do this by yourself, so this honour's very much theirs as well."

However, he said the idea of being called "Sir Steve" isn't one he'll be pushing.

"I'm just plain old Steve, and that's how I'd prefer to be called going forward too."