Hansen backs Lienert-Brown to shine

Date published: August 25 2016

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All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen is confident Anton Lienert-Brown will give a good account of himself when he makes his Test debut against Australia on Saturday.

The Chiefs centre was named in the world champions' starting line-up for their Bledisloe Cup clash in Wellington as a replacement for the injured Ryan Crotty.

Hansen said it was important for players coming in not to be overwhelmed with the atmosphere so that they can do their job.

"He's been impressive in all the time he's been here and we've got all the confidence that he will go out and do the job," he told the All Blacks' official website. 

"We've got a big task ahead of us, Australia are going to turn up and chuck the kitchen sink at us I should imagine. 

"They've had a big week over there with their own disappointment and the media and their own fans having a crack at them so we'd be foolish to think they're not going to turn up and play really well," he said.

Lienert-Brown had been on Hansen's radar for some time and he has been following the 21-year-old's career since he was a schoolboy in Christchurch.

"I don't think someone like Anton is going to go unnoticed," he added. 

"All of us knew who he was and that's because of what he did on the playing field. 

"And that's why he's here, he's good enough to be here and now gets an opportunity, probably a little earlier than he would, and we would, have expected but we're very confident that he will go out and do the job."

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