New All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will not make sweeping changes to what is clearly a good formula, but he will seek to be challenged in order to ensure that the world champions' game does not stagnate.
Having been at Graham Henry's side during the World Cup-winning coach's highly successful eight year spell at the helm of New Zealand rugby Hansen believes he has formed a pretty good idea of what it takes to be a succesful head coach.
Although the All Blacks set-up that he has inherited is obviously an effective system, Hansen is determined to ensure that his side do not take anything for granted which is why he believes that his assistant coaches will play a vital role in his development as a succesful mentor.
He told the Dominion Post: "Keeping an environment where you have honest and open debate so you can turn good ideas into great ideas is extremely important.
"As head coach, your role is to sit back and let others challenge your initial thought process and from that you develop a plan better than the one initially tabled.
"That's something that's different for me and that's why in searching for the coaches I've looked for, I wanted people who could take up that role," he explained.
Although the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) is unable to name Hansen's assistant or specialist coaches until their employment negotiations have been completed Hansen did give some insight on how he expects the coaching labour to be divided.
He will have one assistant coach, widely expected to be former Chiefs coach Ian Foster, and two specialists who would round off a quartet tasked with ensuring the All Blacks maintain their high standards.
"I won't be the forwards coach, my role will be facilitating over the top of the coaching group and, more specifically, I'll be looking after game strategy," he said.
"There will need to be a defence coach because that's what Wayne [Smith] did and he's no longer here, we'll need someone to do the scrums and that might be me, and if that's the case, we'll need someone to take the line-out.
"I'm confident I have people in the group who can cover all of that and there will obviously be a coach who can do back attack," he added.
Although the Chiefs' forward pack has been something of a weak point for the Waikato franchise in recent times there is no denying Foster's positive influence on the backline, and he is expected to focus his energies on that area as Hansen's assistant while current skills coach Mick Byrne has made no secret of the fact that he would like to take charge of the line-outs and kick-offs.
That would leave Hansen to take over from Mike Cron as scrum guru, which would also represent good continuity as he enjoyed such success with the pack in his role as forwards coach under Henry.
The second specialist is expected to be Hansen's close associate, former Crusaders assistant Aussie McLean who is likely to handle the team's defensive strategy.
As a former assistant coach Hansen seems to have a keen understanding of the important role different perspectives can make and he has made no secret of the fact that he will make full use of the intellectual property that will be at his disposal although the final call will ultimately be his.
The comparisons to Henry and accusations that he has "inherited" someone else's team are inevitable, but the early signs are that he will value the opinion of others and focus on how to make progress without reinventing a system which has been so successful - a delicate balancing act if ever there was one.
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