But confirmation of his new four-year contract with Japan has taken him out of the running.
Jamie Joseph became the second high-profile candidate, after former Wales coach Warren Gatland, to rule himself out of the vacancy when he renewed his Japan contract until the 2023 World Cup on Monday.
In a statement from chairman Brent Impey this morning, Joseph's decision has been accepted by New Zealand Rugby, who will now continue their recruitment process to find the next All Blacks coach.
Their fast-paced brand had attracted enthusiastic support from a host nation where rugby struggles for mainstream cut-through.
"We highly appreciate that (Joseph) built up the skills of the Japan players to the world level in just three years since taking over as head coach of the men's national team on September 1, 2016", JRFU President Shigetaka Mori said in a statement.
Sara Lee Responds to SNL Sketch
He called the band his family and even teased the audience that they might be making an appearance. The singer was the host this weekend on the comedy show and he delivered a hilarious monologue.
U.S. Supreme Court puts temporary hold on Trump financial records fight
Gates' testimony appeared to conflict with sworn written statements that Trump gave Mueller. In response, Trump tweeted , "I like the idea" and that he will "strongly consider it".
Burger King Is Bringing Plant-Based Meat to the Kid's Menu
Burger King, a unit of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International Inc, declined to comment, saying it does not discuss pending litigation.
Joseph said he was proud of having led the Blossoms to their best ever World Cup showing, but warned "we have many more issues to tackle if we look ahead to the future".
"We highly appreciate that (Joseph) built up the skills of the Japan players to the world level in just three years since taking over as head coach of the men's national team on September 1, 2016", JRFU President Shigetaka Mori said in a statement. "I hope to make the team even stronger", he added.
"We congratulate and wish Jamie well as he continues his work coaching the Brave Blossoms", Impey said in a statement.
Hansen was All Blacks head coach from 2012 and a member of the All Blacks' coaching team since 2004.
"We are looking forward to announcing the next head coach of the All Blacks next month".