‘I hope Hansen stays’ – Read

Kieran Read is optimistic that Steve Hansen will reconsider his decision and stay on as head coach, past The British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017.

“I’d love for him to stay. I hope he does,” Read said.

“What we have as a team has been great over the past few years.

Hansen appointed Read earlier in year, following the retirement of back-to-back World Cup winning captain Richie McCaw.

“It’s a massive honour to lead the team. I’m really excited, it’s going to be a great year and I’m humbled.”

The All Black coach is unlikely to extend his contract, which terminates at the end of 2017.

“What we have as a team has been great over the past few years,” Hansen said, speaking to Radio Sport in February.

“Whilst it will be a new experience to be there full-time, at least he’s had a taste of it.”

Read has captained the team on nine occasions.

He also rates the leadership and guidance that he received from fellow Crusader, McCaw, as vital.

“I’ve learnt a lot off Richie, and I’ll certainly use those strengths going forward.”

The Lions embark on a 10-match tour to New Zealand, which includes three test matches against the All Blacks.