Steve Hansen declares Ireland Test decider for world’s best team

first_imgThe All Blacks head coach, Steve Hansen, has wasted little time moving on from England after declaring the Test in Dublin on Saturday will decide the mantle of the world’s best team. The past three meetings between Ireland and the All Blacks captured the attention of the rugby world. In 2013 the All Blacks pulled off a miraculous comeback by finishing a length-of-the-field try and sideline conversion – on the second attempt – to secure the first unbeaten season of the professional era. Three years later the New Zealand‑born Ireland coach, Joe Schmidt, inspired Ireland to their first win against the All Blacks in Chicago, only for Hansen’s men to return serve in Dublin two weeks later.Schmidt, expecting another tight, torrid contest, is still recovering from 2013. “The game in 2013: I’m still bleeding from that. It hurts when that happens,” he said. Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardian Steve Hansen Share on Facebook Read more Read more Since you’re here… New Zealand rugby union team Share on Twitter Ireland clinch first ever win over All Blacks to end New Zealand’s record streak New Zealand’s Aaron Cruden sinks Ireland with retaken kick at the last Topicscenter_img Share on Pinterest Fresh from his side’s one-point escape at Twickenham, Hansen had only just arrived in Dublin when he said the Ireland Test, which pits the two top ranked rugby nations against each other, will be treated as a World Cup knockout game.“It’s one and two so whoever wins it will be the best side in the world regardless of rankings – that’s the mental state that people will take out of it so it’ll be a goody,” Hansen said. “We don’t have to talk about it, there’s enough experience in the group to know they don’t get any bigger. You don’t get to play one and two that often when they’re in separate hemispheres so when they do come about they become pretty big games. There’s a fierce rivalry there.” Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email Read more Share on Messenger Rugby union Ireland rugby union team England denied by All Blacks and late decision in Twickenham thriller Autumn internationals “Chicago was a great band aid, but two weeks later we were very, very much in the game, and it was very tough, very, very tough.“The challenge for our guys is to step up. I’m confident they can. But at the same time I’m well aware of the challenges the All Blacks present.”The All Blacks will be without Sonny Bill Williams, who suffered a shoulder injury against England, but Hansen stirred the pot somewhat by confidently predicting influential Irish halfback Conor Murray will return from a neck complaint despite last playing in June.“He’s a real competitor, he’ll want to play and if he’s got a chance I’m picking he’ll play.” newslast_img

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