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Younger side but expectations don't change

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Lynn McConnell     11 Nov 2016     Getty Images

Coach Steve Hansen said the All Blacks were expecting a tough game as they moved on from last week's loss to Ireland in Chicago.

"Whilst it's not the same people playing, it's the same jersey and the same expectations. This group has got to go out and get back to the type of rugby we want to play and to the standard, we want to play it at," he said.

The game would be flanker Sam Cane's second time captaining the All Blacks. He was captain of the Chiefs and had come off a strong individual performance against Ireland after a fair period of time out of the game due to injury.

The All Blacks management were wanting him to play well and to be calm and assured under the pressure of the game while making sure the people around him were responding to his understanding of what was happening and working with the other leaders in the team to help get the team to where it needed to be.

"But he is learning as a leader. It won't be perfect and we don't expect it to be," Hansen said.

No.8 Steven Luatua would be making the lineout calls.

Before the game, the All Blacks management group would be going to dinner with their Italian counterparts after receiving an invitation earlier in the game.

Coaching was a lonely life and coaches were under a lot of scrutiny and a lot of pressure, he said. It was something Hansen and his coaches quite often did before games.

"It's just nice to share some time with like-minded people. We'll talk about what they're doing and what we're doing. We'll share some things but there won't be a lot of rugby talked I shouldn't imagine.

"We'll certainly engage if they want to engage and talk about things because part of our job is to help as much as we can without giving away all our secrets. We're not averse to sharing our ideas and hopefully, they'll share some of theirs and hopefully, we'll all have a learning experience but I imagine it will be about creating a relationship and friendship," he said.