One key element In Ireland's vast improvement over the past few years is the appointment of head coach Joe Schmidt, who is a New Zealand man himself.
Ireland will be boosted by the "chase" of New Zealand still holding onto their world number one ranking according to Luke McGrath as he heaped praise on Wigan RL legend Andy Farrell.
We have all the latest on Ireland's Homeless World Cup run in Mexico in which they are in the Telmex Tercel final today against Romania. We spoke about it needing to be our best defensive performance if we wanted to win, and I think it absolutely was.
It's the first time Ireland have beaten the All Blacks in Ireland and just the second time they have beaten them ever following their win in Chicago two years ago.
Ireland defended for their lives in the second-half and shut out the All Blacks, with the visitors tryless for the first time against a northern hemisphere nation since the 1995 clash with France.
Other favourites for the position should Hansen step away include All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, who has worked under Hansen since 2012, and Montpellier coach Vern Cotter, who interviewed for Hansen's position after the 2011 Rugby World Cup. "I've huge respect for Steve, Fozzy [Ian Foster], and Scott MacLeod, their coaching staff".
"So for us to be favourites when they have been the world number-one team for nine years, and continue to be the world number-one team". "I thought Rory Best described it pretty well afterwards", Schmidt said. And that's a lot of things stacked in our favour.
"We are just focusing on the United States of America next week".
Keeping the All Blacks under pressure, again so important, so that when we did get the ball, we are trying and trying and then we are making mistakes, and scrum that said loud and clear that we do not have the most dominate set piece in world rugby.
"We've got to work hard to make sure we're ready for the USA".
New Zealand, to their credit, accepted they had been outfoxed by Schmidt, who spends hours searching for fresh ideas - "I always steal them from someone else" - that can be tailored to his side's specific needs.