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Worries? Hansen has few

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/06/2017 Angelo Risso

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Is Steve Hansen worried?

Warren Gatland says yeah, a teeny bit, you know - maybe.

Hansen says nah.

"I'm pretty cool, calm and excited. I tell you all the time that worry is a waste of emotion," the All Blacks boss reminded journalists on Thursday, breaking the press-conference fourth wall.

No worries here. Move along, folks.

Hansen did his absolute best to keep things cheery on Thursday, with barely 48 hours to his side's clash with Gatland's British and Irish Lions.

The wise cracks. The innuendo. The droll "Shag" repertoire was all there - with not a spot of bother to be detected.

If it's genuine or not, only Hansen knows.

"If the thing you're worried about has happened, you need to fix it, so there's no point worrying about it - and if it hasn't happened, then get a plan so you don't have to worry about it," Hansen said.

Steve Hansen insists he's worry-free ahead of Saturday's All Blacks Test against the British and Irish Lions.  © Phil Walter/Getty Images Steve Hansen insists he's worry-free ahead of Saturday's All Blacks Test against the British and Irish Lions.  Gatland, naturally, sees things differently.

As his Lions have developed on Kiwi soil, squeezing their opponents out of contests, he's sensed little cracks of insecurity in the All Blacks veneer - in particular, Hansen's persistent niggling and goading.

The straw eventually broke the camel's back on Saturday, with Hansen's correct prediction that Gatland would bring in mid-week reinforcements.

That bloke Steve - I reckon he's a bit worried about us, Gatland said.

And he amped it up again on Thursday with another riposte - this time to Hansen's implication he was "bullying" referees on blocking.

Bring it on, it seemed to say - the fireworks will ignite on the field, on Saturday.

"If I'm getting up his nose, then that's a nice position to be in," Gatland said.

"I'm not worried about Steve. We're concentrating on ourselves, and he can say whatever he likes in the media."

What story will the 2017 Lions tell?: Warren Gatland once again takes the British and Irish Lions to the southern hemisphere after his selection took to Australia last time, but New Zealand will pose an altogether different challenge.There have been glorious successes and disastrous failures in the rich history of the Lions, with the full gamut of emotions ran in the last five tours alone.Here, we recount the highs and lows experienced by the best from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales since 1997. The story of the last five British and Irish Lions tours Slideshow provided by Omnisport

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