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Maverick Goodhue keeping his mullet

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'I'm not getting rid of the mullet... there is scientific evidence that shows it makes me faster'

Defending champions New Zealand have been emitting a sweetness and light mood from their camp in the lead-up to Saturday’s quarter-final versus Ireland. 

It was typified at Friday’s media conference in Tokyo where amongst general queries about the knockout match versus the Irish, assistant coach Ian Foster was quizzed about the team getting a variety of different haircuts during the week.

“To be fair, it is the highlight of the week,” quipped Foster. “They line up six or seven chairs in the team room and then they come in. It’s quite a show. 

“There have been some mis-cuts I guess – George Bridge for one. He is hoping for some very sunny days to get rid of the white line around the back of his head. Don’t look at it, because it will embarrass him.”

There was also some good-natured ribbing of the maverick-looking Jack Goodhue, who is now clean-shaven ahead of the Irish showdown. “He’s taken that stupid moustache off, so that’s a good sign,” suggested Foster.

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Goodhue admitted getting it done hadn’t been easy. “I’ve had a hard time for that – you can’t win in this team,” he said.

However, there was no way he was sitting in the barber’s chair and having a short back and sides job done to his famous mullet. “I’m not getting rid of the mullet. You can ask this every week but it’s not going. There is scientific evidence that shows it makes me faster. It was done at Harvard, I think.”

Switching to the rugby, Foster was adamant that the New Zealand which Ireland will encounter will be a very different proposition to the New Zealand that was picked off in Dublin 11 months ago.  

“We have changed a lot of things in the last 12 months because we had to due to some performances last year that we’re not proud of. 

“It’s a different group we have got. They’re excited, confident to play and our challenge around the big game is to make sure that we don’t dampen that confidence.

“We have to be smart. We are playing a team that likes to suffocate you. We have to respect that, but at the same time we just have to make sure that we go out there and do what we want to do well.”

WATCH: Former Australian international Matt Giteau sits down with RugbyPass in the latest episode of Rugby World Cups Memories

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'I'm not getting rid of the mullet... there is scientific evidence that shows it makes me faster'