Don't over-do England/NZ Tests: Hansen

Carrie Guzman
November 11, 2018

Providing the gauge is the strongest available New Zealand team, who are only a couple of injuries away from fielding their most potent side.

It is true those two big suspensions stymied Jones's possible intent to select Ashton and let him add to his 19 worldwide tries, which is the record for a current England player.

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

The All Blacks face England for the first time in four years this weekend at a sold-out Twickenham.

"New Zealand week is different".

Ashton, who came on for the final 15 minutes against the Springboks, played and scored a try in England's 38-21 win against the All Blacks in 2012.

"Sonny's had the least rugby, he's still finding his top form; I think that's fair to say", said New Zealand assistant coach Foster.

"The thing that impressed me most is that in that French league you can have very, very good players who when they get there deteriorate because they get lazy", he added. "It's a mental game but also physically making sure we do the work but not do too much and play the game in your head or on the training field you've got to keep energy in the tank".

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen reckons this weekend's Test between England and New Zealand at Twickenham is bigger than last year's British and Irish Lions series.

When the teams run out on to the pitch, they will cross the spot where soil from the grave of former England captain Ronnie Poulton was buried before The Army v Navy match in May.

Lawes missed the 12-11 victory over South Africa with a problem that initially surfaced early last month and grew more severe when having to squeeze his 6ft 7in frame into a single bed at a local hotel the night before Northampton's defeat to Leicester at Twickenham.

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He added: "I thought England were very, very good and I thought we showed a lot of character".

"There's already pressure on us, the one constant thing about being in the All Blacks is you're under pressure".

"There will be 80,000 people, it' s all over the papers, you can't get a ticket - you must have been on holiday if you can't work out it's going to be big".

"Once you come to realise that then life becomes a little easier".

The All Blacks as a unit talk about the expectations on them, and Hansen and his staff encourage the players to "walk towards the pressure".

"When I've played in teams that did that previously, we've been successful".

The rivals meet for the first time since 2014 with New Zealand overwhelming favourites to land a psychological blow ahead of the 2019 World Cup and England are eager to discover their place in the global hierarchy.

"We know what a world-class operator Manu is".

"At that stage of the game, they could be playing the Spice Girls and I wouldn't know what's being played", Jones said yesterday.

"You have to give them due respect for that".

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