All Blacks coach Steve Hansen laughs off England's spy claims

Scott Barrett All Black

Rugby World Cup 2019: Barrett to start ahead of Cane in All Blacks-England semi-final

"They have been involved in some of the biggest games in world rugby so this semi-final won't faze them". However, that pressure is always there whenever you play quality opposition, regardless of who you are.

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen has laughed off spying suggestions from the England camp and described them as "the best clickbait in the world".

"Every team has pressure".

Which is among the reasons why New Zealand and England have both re-set themselves selectorially this week.

"New Zealand are a very good team", said Itoje.

Hansen's response has been subtle. "We believe we have identified a number of areas where we can do that".

'Which is why for 2 ½ years we have been building up a game to play NZ, so we don't have to bring a lot of new stuff into our game this week'.

He pointed to how close England got to winning their most recent meeting - before slumping to a sixth consecutive loss. It's a great week, it's one of the most exciting weeks in world rugby.

Perhaps he was thinking further ahead to his ideal final.

"The squad has approached the game well with real maturity".

"We come up against a team with strengths all over the field".

Sibling rivalry also did not rear its head in the All Blacks, Beauden said, although backyard cricket games at the family farm were intensely competitive.

He started the tournament with a lower leg problem, although there was no sign of him being hampered during a 46-14 quarter-final thrashing of Ireland, where he was named man of the match.

England can play a direct game with kickers playing for territory off strong set pieces and multiple forward phases.

"We don't like to talk about it all the time".

"And I think early in our history, we ran away from it so it was chasing us down the street". "There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks. They'll get a great opportunity".

'Your job as a coach is to minimize the stress for your players and allow them to be free, allow them to have a clear head, allow them to play with energy and use their natural ability during the games.

"Logic would say we shouldn't be favorites because it's never been done before", Hansen said, adding that England really had more to lose considering the four-year buildup since a disappointing group-stage exit in 2015 when hosting the tournament.

'You know the stress the players are under. They'll have memories about a tournament four years ago that didn't go that good, so they'll be under huge pressure themselves.

"So, to say they've got nothing to lose; Eddie doesn't believe that either".

Jones began planning for Saturday's seismic showdown since the World Cup draw was made in Kyoto in May 2017 and now that the moment has arrived, he insists his team will rise to the occasion.

Fitzpatrick, who won the World Cup in 1987, lost in the semifinal to Australia in 1991 and then lost the final against South Africa in 1995, wonders if England can do that. As England coach, he thinks he's up against it this weekend.

Asked about pressure surrounding the semi-final, Hansen said: "I've talked about pressure ever since I have been an All Blacks coach". "Even my wife, I have to tell her to stop (supporting) them".

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