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England match even bigger than Lions tour, says All Blacks coach Hansen

10 November, 2018, 10:13 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • All Blacks prop Joe Moody has been forced to deal with injuries to his shoulder finger knee thumb and an eyelid this year

When Jones' comments were put to Read at New Zealand's team hotel in London on Friday, he replied: "We do the Haka as a challenge but it is more about us connecting as a team".

"That day is probably the best feeling of my rugby career so far and hopefully we can repeat that", said George, who was the first choice hooker throughout the series.

This weekend marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, in which 27 England players and 13 from New Zealand lost their lives. When the players run out, they will pass the spot where soil from the Belgian grave of former captain Ronnie Poulton, who was killed in 1915, was buried at Twickenham in May.

All Black captain Kieran Read has insisted England "can do what they like" in response to the haka at Twickenham on Saturday. "If he wasn't a rugby player he would be a marathon runner because he can run for days without getting exhausted".

Wing Ashton, whose last Test start came against the All Blacks in June 2014, replaces Jack Nowell in one of three changes to the starting line-up following the victory over South Africa last weekend.

"You're expected to win every Test match and not only win it but win it really well".

The All Blacks biggest enemy may be their own expectations after Steve Hansen revealed this morning the constant pressure the team is under to deliver results on the global stage.

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"If you've got half of it missing, you can't wipe your eye, so it'll affect your eyesight long-term so we need to make sure he's OK".

"There's 80,000 people (in the stadium), it's all over the papers, everyone's talking about it, you can't get a ticket". "But does it put pressure on us? No".

Injury-depleted England are facing the strongest available All Blacks team complete with the likes of Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane and Brodie Retallick, but are buoyed by last Saturday's stirring victory over South Africa. "If they want to be physical they can be, if they want to play wide and expansive rugby they can do that, so we'll have to wait to see which way they choose to play but we will be ready for whatever".

"They'll play a physical game up front, their kicking game is pretty good, their aerial skills to support that are pretty good". So you'd have to say they have improved, but coming with that is pressure.

"The other 67 percent want to beat them, so we're happy to go out there and get stuck in".

His return to the team was hastened by a call made to Jones previous year by attack coach Scott Wisemantel, who was working as an assistant at Montpellier before joining England's back room staff.

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