New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has resumed verbal hostilities with Warren Gatland by questioning why his fellow Kiwi would “hate” coaching the British and Irish Lions.
Gatland made the comment last week, revealing he “hated the press and negativity” surrounding the 10-match tour during the summer which was highlighted by a drawn Test series against the world champion All Blacks.
At one stage, the New Zealand Herald newspaper published a cartoon depicting the Wales coach as a clown, complete with red nose.
With the All Blacks visiting Cardiff on November 25, Hansen has chosen to reopen his war of words with his rival.
“Why would you hate coaching the Lions?” Hansen said on New Zealand’s Radio Sport.
“If you hate coaching, don’t do it. I love coaching any team I’ve been involved in – that’s the reason I’m doing it.
“I’m lucky enough to coach the All Blacks, which is fantastic. If you are lucky enough to coach the Lions, it is also fantastic.”
Gatland is viewed as an outside contender to replace Hansen as New Zealand boss when both step down from their current posts after the 2019 World Cup.
“Welcome to our world. You are under constant pressure, constant scrutiny. People expect you to be able to front up and do the job well,” Hansen said.
“In the All Blacks’ case, we are expected to win every Test and win it well.
“You don’t want to change those expectations – they drive your own inner expectations to be even higher. It drives that necessity to want to always be better.”