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All Blacks face World Cup pressure - Easter

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    08 Jul 2018     Getty Images

Easter, now the defence coach for Harlequins said a perfect storm of resurgent Springboks and Wallabies teams and the growing strength of northern hemisphere sides England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland could be enough to undo New Zealand.

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He believed the All Blacks revealed a chink in their armour in their drawn series with the British & Irish Lions last year which he felt was confirmed when beaten by the Wallabies and when taken within a point of losing by the Springboks in Cape Town in later Tests.

Then, if France maintained the improvement shown in New Zealand, the World Cup could be up for grabs by any one of the leading sides, Easter told the Saturday Star in South Africa.

"Definitely everyone is beatable, let's just make sure they [the All Blacks] get a red card early on, it's chucking down with rain and they get a bit of food poisoning. Then it's in the bag," he said.

There had always been an historic clash between how the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere sides did things, and the south had been leading the way recently.

"And when it was just New Zealand, as it was for the last couple of years, it is great to see the Springboks and Australia coming back as a force in world rugby. It generates the interest and it just gets boring if it's just a two-or-three horse race.

"This World Cup is going to be the most exciting ever. Ireland are strong, Wales are coming – Gatland know how to make them peak. England, Scotland are playing the best rugby that they have been playing for a long time and now we just need France to pull their finger out, don't we? And then it will be an absolute cracker," he said.

Easter did warn that the Springboks still had to confirm their revival however and that would come in the Investec Rugby Championship.

Easter was visiting South Africa, and the Sharks and Bulls especially on a coaching skills development trip.