New Zealand’s supremacy a testament to All Blacks ideal of shared ownership

Steve Hansen’s side are primed to set a new record of 18 straight wins by a tier one nation when they face Australia on Saturday, having improved since last year’s World Cup despite losing five cap centurions

When the New Zealand squad gathered for the first time this year before the three-Test series against Wales, their head coach, Steve Hansen, had a short, simple and direct message: players like Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu, Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu, cap centurions all, may have retired from international rugby, along with others like Conrad Smith, but the All Blacks were not in a rebuilding phase. It would be business as usual and the World Cup holders have duly maintained their winning ways: victory over Australia in Auckland on Saturday would set a new tier one record for successive Test match wins, 18.

“The word he used was re-establishment,” said the flanker Sam Cane, McCaw’s successor on the openside. “As soon as you heard that, it sparked something. There was real excitement but also a bit of uncertainty around the group knowing we had lost more than 800 test caps, and some of them our greatest All Blacks ever. Could we be better than last year? I was not sure, but things have been ticking along nicely.”

Continue reading...

About the Author

Comments are closed.