Former New Zealand coach Steve Hansen takes consultant role at Japan's Toyota Verblitz

Steve Hansen left his position as All Blacks coach after the nation's third-place finish at this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan. Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen on Monday confirmed his long-expected move to Japan, where he will take up a role as coaching consultant for Top League side Toyota Verblitz.

The 60-year-old stepped down from his position as New Zealand head coach following his side's third-place finish at the Rugby World Cup. He spent 16 years with the team, the last eight as head coach, and was a part of two World Cup triumphs.

"I've got a new job, which involves me mentoring, consulting and advising at Toyota Verblitz," Hansen said in a video on the All Blacks' Twitter.

"It's not as a head coach, it's more as an advisor, a mentor, and it requires me to be up there for five to 17 weeks a year."

Toyota are coached by fellow New Zealander Simon Cron, who was an assistant at the New South Wales Waratahs for two years until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

"The key thing is to go in and work with the people in the environment," Hansen said. "The opportunity to help [Cron] grow is something that really excites me.

"While it's not a full-time coaching role, it's a role that still allows me to stay in the game. It's also a role that will allow me to have the family time that I want to have and I'm really looking forward to it."

Hansen will link up with former All Blacks captain Kieran Read, who signed a one-year contract with Toyota earlier this year.

New Zealand Rugby are in the process of appointing Hansen's successor with his former assistant Ian Foster and Canterbury Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson the leading candidates.