Hansen: All Blacks will keep up intensity

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is confident his players will not underestimate the challenge posed by the United States with places for the rest of the Autumn internationals at stake. [more]

Steve Hansen

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is confident his players will not underestimate the challenge posed by the United States with places for the rest of the Autumn internationals at stake.

The All Blacks, who will host the British & Lions in 2017, take on the USA at Chicago’s Soldier Field this weekend before travelling to Europe to face England, Scotland and Wales.

Fly-half Dan Carter is due to make his return from injury against the Eagles, with centre Sonny Bill Williams also expected to represent the All Blacks for the first time since 2012.

And Hansen insists all four November Tests present crucial opportunities for players to put themselves in contention as New Zealand prepare to defend their Rugby World Cup title next year.

“We’re showcasing rugby here in the States and our expectations are that we’ve got to play well and put on something special,” said Hansen.

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“The Eagles are a reasonable side themselves and a big side, certainly not lacking in size and pace so we’ll have to prepare well as we always do and go out and play well.

“The players are professional enough to understand that if given the opportunity to play then if they want to keep playing they’ve got to play well.

“So that’s usually pretty good at keeping people’s feet on the floor.”

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