Planet Rugby

Hansen swaps 'beast' for a 'whippet'

05th June 2014 06:33

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cory jane julian savea new zealand training

Differences: Jane & Savea

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen knows the All Blacks are fortunate to be able to replace injured Julian Savea with Cory Jane.

Savea's knee injury has ruled him out of the first Test and his future participation in the Test series is currently unclear.

Jane replaces his Hurricanes team-mate on the left wing at Eden Park, with Hansen outlining the differences between the two players.

"As soon as we saw the scan results, we pulled out Julian straight away," said Hansen.

"We're taking it week by week and at this stage he's only out for this game.

"He'll be missed, but Cory Jane brings his own style of game. Cory's not as big a guy, but he has some pretty special skills as well.

"Cory being there probably improves our high-ball catching, not that Julian's not good at that, but Cory Jane is world class at it.

"They're just different players. Julian is a beast and Cory is a whippet, who is good on his feet and a great finisher.

"Cory coming in will enhance us so we're very fortunate that we have a world-class player to take Julian's place."

New Zealand's time in training has been limited due to Super Rugby matches, but Hansen was happy with their progress ahead of a historic series against next year's World Cup hosts.

"It is the first time in our long history that we are playing a three-match series against England and they are the perfect opponent for us at this time," added Hansen.

"We have a healthy respect for England and what they will bring to the contest.

"Our preparation, though limited by time, has been very good. We have concentrated on getting real clarity of our roles earlier in the week and will be looking to build the intensity levels as we get closer to game time.

"We will be looking, as always, to improve our game by increasing our accuracy and precision in all our tasks across the park.

"There is a strong desire in the group to keep improving the quality of our performances from the level they have been at. We are fully aware that if we don't, we are vulnerable to those teams that have the same mindset of improvement.

"We see this Test match as one which will be very physical with lots of ball movement that will challenge both sides aerobically and mentally."

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