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New Zealand’s coach Steve Hansen suggests 16-week off-seasons for all

• All Blacks preparing to face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday
• England are still counting cost of Lions tour, says Hansen

Steve Hansen has called for a mandatory 16-week off-season, days after an 11-month campaign was announced in England. The New Zealand head coach said England were still counting the cost of having 15 players on the British & Irish Lions tour of his country last year, amid escalating concerns over player-workload.

Hansen was speaking before New Zealand face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, with matches against England, Ireland and Italy set to complete a 14-Test campaign for the All Blacks, less than three months before the 2019 Super Rugby season begins.

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