All Black coach Steve Hansen has suggested that his opposite number, Ewen McKenzie, will be under pressure to pick Quade Cooper.
The mind games in the lead up to the Bledisloe Cup opener are in full force with All Black coach Steve Hansen suggesting that his opposite number, Ewen McKenzie, will be under pressure to pick Quade Cooper.
McKenzie brought Cooper back from the international wilderness when he replaced Robbie Deans at the helm of the Wallabies and has shown full support for the fly-half who last year called the environment in Deans' squad “toxic”.
However, while McKenzie has backed Cooper publicly, Hansen believes that it will be Matt Toomua of the Brumbies who will wear the number ten jersey on Saturday.
“He's in a difficult situation because I'm imagining when Robbie Deans wasn't picking Quade Cooper, he was saying 'I'll pick you Quade, I'll pick you',” said Hansen.
“Our information is telling us that he's going to pick the other bloke.”
McKenzie has refused to discuss the composition of his side in the build-up to the match, and Hansen has speculated as to why this is the case.
“There's only one or two reasons why he doesn't want to tell them,” he said.
“He's not sure for himself or he doesn't think they can cope with the pressure of being in the public too early. So it's not effecting us, it doesn't bother me who they play.
“I think they will pick Matt (Toomua) and possibly also pick both midfielders from the Brumbies (Christian Leali'ifano and Tevita Kuridrani) and use their defensive screens and their rush defence to put us under pressure that way.”