All Blacks cannot afford complacency, says Hansen

Steve Hansen has guarded against complacency and called on New Zealand to attack their Bledisloe Cup opener next week.

The All Blacks face Australia in Sydney on Saturday, looking to defend a trophy they have won every year since 2003.

But head coach Hansen has warned his side that they cannot expect a straightforward series, with even a win next weekend not enough to allow New Zealand to relax.

“We’ve just got to go and re-capture the Bledisloe Cup and the attitude has to be to take it rather than expect it to happen,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of pride about what’s been done in the past but, at the same time, you’ve got to go and earn it, earn the right to put a hand on it.

“Even if we win this week, it doesn’t mean we’ve won it [the trophy].”

The All Blacks have several members of the Crusaders’ Super Rugby-winning side in their squad, but Hansen is pleased with the way they have focused on the task at hand since the celebrations subsided.

“It took a couple of days for them to get over their celebrations,” Hansen said. “One or two guys were a bit slower than others.

“It’s usually the younger guys who are a bit less smarter with their ability to [recuperate].

“They’ve been good. The leaders from the Crusaders have been outstanding really and the younger boys have picked up. By Saturday, everyone was on the same page.”

Nehe Milner-Skudder and Sonny Bill Williams have not travelled to Australia for the first clash of the series. News wire is powered by opta

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