Hansen, Gatland vow pint
So that’s that, then. Steve Hansen and Warren Gatland apparently like each other after all, and have scheduled a postmatch beer together to talk horse racing.
The rival coaches confirmed their lineups for tomorrow’s second rugby test in Wellington then agreed to smoke a peace pipe, of sorts.
There’s been plenty going on between the All Blacks and British and Irish Lions coaches this series as each responded to the other’s needling via jampacked press conferences. It’s been entertaining and edgy, and gave the distinct impression the compatriots don’t have much time for each other.
The latest instalment was this week when Hansen bit back at what he saw as Gatland’s inference his All Blacks deliberately tried to injure Lions halfback Conor Murray. Gatland responded by saying it was odd that Hansen contacted a radio station to air his views, which was reported by some media outlets but is understood to be incorrect.
Suddenly the tide, or tone, turned. Hansen rejected any suggestion of personal animosity between the pair, as the All Blacks look to close out the series at 1-0 up amid a rough Wellington forecast of rain and strengthening northerly winds.
‘‘I read somewhere I lashed out at Warren Gatland. I haven’t lashed out at Warren Gatland at all. I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I’m looking forward to having a beer with him and a chuckle about life,’’ Hansen said. ‘‘We’ve got a lot of common interests, he likes racing horses and so do I.’’