Steve Hansen says the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship clash with the Springboks in Wellington will not impact on their World Cup opener later this year.
The Springboks and All Blacks meet in a repeat of last year’s dramatic fixture, which ended with the South Africans claiming a 36-34 victory, their first win in New Zealand since 2009.
The two teams will meet again in the Pool B opener at the World Cup in Japan in September, a match which could have significant ramifications for the final standings.
However, Hansen told the media on Monday that his side won’t be out for revenge against Rassie Erasmus’ team.
‘Not too much. Revenge, we are not into that,’ Hansen said.
‘I guess it will give whoever wins it a little confidence going into the World Cup, but it won’t mean whoever wins this one will automatically win the one in the World Cup,’ Hansen added. ‘Even then whoever wins that game, it doesn’t mean the other team is knocked out, either.
‘In the big scheme it allows everyone to have a wee look at each other and feel each other out, but I don’t think it’s going to affect the World Cup, no.’
The All Blacks are coming off a nailbiting 20-16 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires, where a team bereft of experienced Crusaders regulars such as Kieran Read came within inches of losing their first-ever match to their opponents.
Having been able to hand a debut to wing Sevu Reece and bring new caps Luke Jacobson and Braydon Ennor off the bench, Hansen said he was pleased with the way the newbies performed last weekend.
‘I think they get a lot of confidence the more they’re in here,’ Hansen said. ‘It can be a little bit overwhelming for some, and getting a game, getting the jersey on for the first time, getting a look at yourself in the mirror and all the things that come with your first time being named as an All Black to play is important to help that confidence, and then going out and playing well reinforces it.’
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