All Blacks switch focus to Namibia

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Forwards coach Jason Ryan said common themes for the World Cup were already evident: discipline, set piece pressure and kicking, and the All Blacks were on the end of some lessons about them against France.

"We've also noticed the ball and the humidity; it's quite greasy, and the jerseys are really wet. There have been a couple of turnovers from ball carries from all teams, and adjusting to that and training with wet balls is important.

"It's been said a couple of times; it's probably going to be the closest World Cup there's been in a while. All the teams are really raising the bar."

Ryan said prop Ethan de Groot would be better for the experience in Paris in the opening game, where France gained scrum penalties from the All Blacks.

"He's one of the most determined young rugby players I've ever coached. He's immensely tough, and he cares deeply, and it would be unfair to point the finger at him solely.

"You talk about northern hemisphere scrummaging and how they do it, and it is different, but when you scrum against them, you learn from them. And we are in a position where we have learned a couple of things where we can be better.

"But just building his confidence [is important too] and making sure he's not taking too much to heart, because he is a young fella who has come onto the scene pretty quickly and he's come a different path than most and we believe in him 100 per cent."

On the injury front, Ryan said captain and flanker Sam Cane had done a little running at training and would be reassessed on Tuesday.

"We've got to get him right and now's the chance to do that. We won't be taking any risks with skip because he's important to us."

Flanker Shannon Frizell's progress was good. They hoped he would be fully involved in training by the end of the week. Second five-eighths, Jordie Barrett was ticking away while prop Tyrel Lomax had been running and doing some light scrum load work during training on Monday.

Former coach Steve Hansen has been with the side, something Ryan appreciated.

"He's been unbelievable for me through my Super Rugby career and into the All Blacks. He's someone I stay in contact with all the time, and to have him in here, he's got a beautiful eye on him and drops a few good one-liners in. But he also helps the coaches and wants the All Blacks to be better, first and foremost.

"He's here until Wednesday. It's been good. He's arguably the greatest coach we've ever had so it's really special to have him in here, really special."

All Blacks v Namibia: Saturday 16 September, 7am NZT (Friday 15 September, 9pm CEST). Live on Sky Sport.


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