Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Beauden Barrett captains New Zealand while Julian Savea faces off against brother Ardie

Beauden Barrett of the All Blacks looks on during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
Beauden Barrett of the All Blacks looks on during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Forsyth Barr Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

The All Blacks are unfazed by Eddie Jones' detective work on their Test rugby supremacy, according to boss Steve Hansen.

New Zealand will face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday, with fly-half Beauden Barrett captaining the All Blacks for the first time in the non-cap international.

England will not face New Zealand until November 2018 and head coach Jones has admitted compiling a dossier on the back-to-back world champions following the British and Irish Lions' drawn summer Test series.

New Zealand head coach Hansen shrugged off Jones' behind-the-scenes research however, before praising his Test counterpart for transforming England.

"I can't say too much, but Eddie's on the ball though isn't he?" said Hansen, of Jones' reconnaissance work on New Zealand.

"He's got a dossier on everything we're doing. Everyone's got dossiers, it just depends what label you've got on them.

"We're trying to do things subtly differently, so we've got a more complete game.

"It's nice to get a compliment from Eddie. He's doing a good job with England, it's exciting for rugby.

"I know everyone's excited about playing them next year, as they are about playing us too."

Jones has hailed New Zealand for continuing to set rugby's global standard and challenging themselves to expand their all-court game still further.

While rugby's current vogue revolves around accelerating attacking play, Jones has said England must be wary of New Zealand's ability to slow the tempo and still remain successful.

Hansen insisted he will receive that compliment at face value from Jones, refusing to be drawn into any deeper-lying insinuations.

"I don't think any human being should be concerned about getting a compliment; the hardest thing is taking it," said Hansen.

"We'll take it, especially from Eddie, because he's a good coach."

Discarded All Blacks winger Julian Savea will face New Zealand in Barbarians colours at Twickenham on Saturday, with Hansen insisting the 27-year-old knows exactly what he needs to do to earn a Test squad recall.

"I don't think it's a trial match for Julian, we've got a plan for him," Hansen said.

"It's about him enjoying his rugby and getting in a good head space about that. He's been a very, very good Test player.

"We've just given him a break away from the environment at the moment.

"Who better to play for if you're looking to get excited than the Barbarians, because they'll be doing plenty of running.

"He's getting the right messages. He said he hadn't spoken to us, but he came up and saw us two weeks afterwards and we made a plan.

"So he knows what he needs to do.

"It's not a full Test and it's not a major club game, but it's still a major game because they pull on the All Black jersey.

"It's a chance for some young, inexperienced players to do that without the pressure of Test rugby."

New Zealand team to face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday:

D Havili (Crusaders), W Naholo (Highlanders), A Lienert-Brown (Chiefs), N Laumape (Hurricanes), S Tamanivalu (Crusaders), B Barrett (capt), TJ Perenara (both Hurricanes), K Hames, N Harris (both Chiefs), O Tu'ungafasi (Blues), L Romano, S Barrett (both Crusaders), V Fifita, A Savea (both Hurricanes), J Kaino (Blues). Replacements: A Aumua (Wellington), T Perry (Crusaders), J Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes), P Tuipulotu (Blues), S Cane, T Kerr-Barlow (both Chiefs), L Sopoaga (Highlanders), M Duffie (Blues).

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