All Blacks like a family - Hansen
Steve Hansen says the familial spirit fostered between himself and his coaching staff has played a major part in New Zealand's continuing success.
On Sunday, the All Blacks claimed the World Rugby Team of the Year award, with Hansen taking the individual coaching prize and fly-half Beauden Barrett winning Player of the Year.
It was just reward for a remarkable 12 months for the world champions, who stretched their winning streak to a world-record 18 matches before they were finally beaten by Ireland earlier this month.
Hansen, who led the side to World Cup glory over Australia in 2015, says he and his coaching staff have developed a relationship where ideas can be discussed frankly.
"The key thing to being successful is having a group around you prepared to challenge appropriately at the right times and being honest with each other," he said.
"It's like a family. You have your best robust discussions with your siblings, there's usually no punches missed. It's the same in our coaching group.
"There's a confidence and trust in there that we can all be vulnerable enough to say what we think for the benefit of the team. So the team always comes first."
Barrett, meanwhile, was thrilled with his award after a year that saw him guide Hurricanes to their first Super Rugby title as well as helping the All Blacks to a perfect record in the Rugby Championship.
"It means so much. It's certainly not something I expect to be awarded or anything," he said.
"Even to have my name thrown in the mix with the talented players we saw nominated. It's a bi-product of a couple of great teams I've been a part of this year, the Hurricanes and the All Blacks.
"So, I have to thank the coaches and my team-mates around me, because without them I wouldn't be here."