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Hansen demands 'All Blacks mode' from side

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/06/2017 Angelo Risso
Steve Hansen © Steve Hansen Steve Hansen

After a long Test off-season, the cream of New Zealand's rugby crop has once again converged for All Blacks duty - and must leave Super Rugby identities and routines at the door, coach Steve Hansen says.

Having not pulled on the black jumper since their defeat of France last November, Hansen's 33-man squad united in Auckland on Sunday ahead of Friday's clash with Samoa.

The match against the Samoans at Eden Park will be the side's sole hit-out before their first British and Irish Lions Test on June 24, leaving no time to waste.

Hansen told reporters his troops would need to quickly shed their respective Super Rugby skins after almost four months of franchise action, and enter Test mode.

"The key thing this week is to get back into being an All Black," Hansen said.

"You're bringing five franchise groups together and they all have their own way about how they live and do things, so we've now got to get one focus - the All Blacks.

"There'll be a lot of learning going on."

Hansen, along with his coaching staff, watched on as the Lions outmuscled the Crusaders 12-3 on Saturday, shaking off a few naysayers in the process.

The 2015 World Cup-winning coach said the match proved the Warren Gatland-coached side would provide a stiff challenge for his All Blacks - but also confirmed his long-held view that the Lions would stick to a brawny, no-nonsense approach.

They managed no tries against the Crusaders, kicking four penalty goals.

"They've got a certain style they'll play, which we saw, and it was effective - I can't see them changing that too much," Hansen said.

"The key things were that they confirmed they're a good team and they've had time to settle in and get a few things going, and they'll just get better and better.

"Gatland's style has always been a physical game, big forwards and big ball-carriers in the middle of the park - his selection of this 41-man squad has done nothing to change my thought process on that and the game on Saturday really shows that's where they're heading.

"My concern now is that we get our house in order."

Video provided by Sky Sports

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