Hansen: Samoa just a warm-up

New Zealand assistant coach Steve Hansen believes it is irrelevant if Samoa field a weakened team in the forthcoming Test match. [more]

Steve Hansen

New Zealand assistant coach Steve Hansen believes it is irrelevant if Samoa field a weakened team in the forthcoming Test match.

Samoa are likely to travel to New Plymouth for the September 3 fixture with an under-strength side, with many of their Pacific Cup squad unavailable due to European club commitments.

But Hansen said the All Blacks were not too concerned as the objective of the match is solely as a run out ahead of the Tri-Nations decider with Australia in Brisbane on September 13.

"We are not too worried what Samoa come with,” he told The Dominion Post.

"We just need the game so we can mould the Test team and give them a game before we play a test against Australia."

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Captain Richie McCaw is likely to feature after a rib injury, with the selectors expected to name a strong 22 for the match.

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