All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen insists his men face a “dangerous” England outfit when they begin their Test year on Saturday.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen believes his men face a “dangerous” England side when they begin their international season on Saturday.
Despite winning all their games in 2013, Hansen is wary of an outfit he describes as “the most improved side in rugby of the last 18 months”.
“If we hang on to last year we'll get thumped, so the first thing we have to do is exactly what we did after winning the World Cup – put a full stop on it,” he said, when speaking of their remarkable run.
“Yes, 2013 was a good year, but the reality is that we could have been beaten two or three times.”
He added: “This England side can do some things better than we can. We need to make sure we improve in those areas.”
“We expect them to turn up; they've clearly got confidence in who they are and what they're doing. Their environment seems to be one of 'keep quiet, get on and do the work', and that makes them dangerous.”
Hansen's praise comes ahead of a game that will see a 20-point underdog with the bookmakers compete without 14 players who played in last week's Premiership final.