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Steve Hansen makes extraordinary claim about the significance of the England game

Coach Steve Hansen believes the looming clash with England at Twickenham is bigger than the All Blacks three test Lions series last year which ended in a draw in New Zealand.

The fact the best team in the World could only tie with the best of British and Irish rugby constituted a failure for the All Blacks and they want to make amends on Saturday. “I think (the England match is) even bigger actually. I think the Lions tour has made it bigger because we weren’t successful,” said the 59-year-old.

“In only drawing the series, that wasn’t successful to us. That’s made this week have a sharper edge to it, which is good.

“You’ve got to be reasonably stupid if you can’t work out this is going to be big. There’s 80,000 people (in the stadium), it’s all over the papers, everyone’s talking about it, you can’t get a ticket.

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“You’d have to be on holiday, I reckon, if you didn’t work out that this is going to be big. And we haven’t got anybody on holiday this week.”

Hansen is confident his team will deal with the pressure of the occasion thanks to their greater experience of test rugby. He explained: ”I don’t know who’s writing them off, it would be foolish to do that. But does it put pressure on us? No.

“There’s already pressure on us, the one constant thing about being in the All Blacks is you’re under pressure because you’re expected to win every Test match you play and not only win it, win it really, really well.

“Once you come to realise that then life becomes a little easier. And it does at times give you an advantage because when other teams get put under pressure of having to win big games, they haven’t experienced that as much as maybe we have.”

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Steve Hansen makes extraordinary claim about the significance of the England game | RugbyPass