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Hansen confident All Blacks can cope

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Lynn McConnell     28 Oct 2016     Getty Images

Hansen said one of the abilities the All Blacks had was coping with the distractions of where they play.

"We've always been a team that has been able to travel well and play and win away from home so we don't need the security of a home venue to play well.

"I think that's a reflection of how hard we work on our preparation and this week will be no different," he said.

Hansen had earlier warned that playing the type of rugby seen at home and during the Investec Rugby Championship might not be so easy in the northern hemisphere because it was so different.

Weather-wise it was a different environment, the stadiums were different and the mentality of the people they were playing was different.

"They're more physical, their game up there is based on a set-piece to set-piece to set-piece and it's not so fluent. We'll get a good look at that on a neutral ground in Chicago against Ireland.

"They'll come at us with everything they've got I'm sure and bring a lot of line speed and try and really out-physical us I imagine and it will be a good experience for us to be able to have to cope with it," he said.

The Ireland squad named to prepare for the game was a good one, Hansen said and while they had some intelligence about the players concerned that wouldn't be confirmed until they were out on Soldier Field in Chicago to play them.

Hansen said injured locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock were not travelling with the team while they recovered from injuries. A medical meeting would be held soon to decide when they would join the side. That meant Vaea Fifita would travel with the side while Patrick Tuipulotu, Luke Romano and Scott Barrett would be able to cover the locking duties.

"It was one of the reasons Scotty wasn't made available to play for Canterbury, it's the situation we're in, a one-off situation hence why he is here," he said.

The situation was similar in the hooking berth where Liam Coltman would travel with the side instead of playing for Otago in the Mitre 10 Championship final on Friday.

Hansen said it was extremely difficult to prepare for a Test match and to not have your third hooker there preparing from the outset wouldn't work.

"Unfortunately, we play extra Test matches every year to make some money which invariably goes back to the PUs [Provincial Unions] and we told the PUs right at the beginning what the story was that if they get selected they have got to come.

"There's no point whining about it when you get selected and say 'Oh but we're in the final we want them to play'. You can't do everything for everyone so while we would love to have them stay and play the final it just doesn't fit the programme.

"So people just have to accept that and do what's right and get on with it," he said.

Otago were disappointed they didn't have Coltman but they hadn't had him all year and Hansen said that was the point he was trying to make.

"We set out our store right at the beginning of the year that people who were going to be selected for this tour wouldn't be available for the final and as I said, we're playing these extra games to try and make some money so we can give it back to the grass roots rugby and the PUs get paid a significant amount of money by the New Zealand Rugby Union and most of that money comes from extra games – that's the Bledisloe Cup, the third one, and this one [Chicago] so you can't have it both ways," he said.

There was also a chance that some members of the All Blacks squad may get to turn out for the Maori All Blacks who play the United States in order to give them playing time ahead of the Test in Italy in the following week.