Fifth World Cup but most exciting for Hansen

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Hansen took Wales to the 2003 World Cup in Australia and was then an assistant to Graham Henry in France in 2007 and at home in New Zealand in 2011. He took over the head coach role in 2012 and took the team to success in 2015 in England.

 

"I'm probably even more excited about this one," he said.

 

"We've got a massive opportunity to do something that hasn't been done before and that's obviously to win three [Webb Ellis Cups] in a row.

 

"When you get challenges like that, that's the sort of pressure you want to be under.

 

"Imagine if we manage to do that and how exciting that will be," Hansen said.

 

Adding to the excitement is the fact he will have a full muster of players available for the side's opening game, against South Africa on September 20.

 

"We've had a good build-up, we've played some good footy. Early on [this international season] we probably didn't play as well as we would have liked but that's usually the way we go. We start slow.

 

"We've had a good hit out today, we've got everybody available for selection at this stage in a fortnight's time. As long as everything goes ok over the next 14 days, we'll be in good shape," he said.

 

Some concerns were felt the All Blacks could be vulnerable to the physical play of Tonga in the final warm-up game, but the threat never materialised as Tonga were guilty of missing 35 tackles in the All Blacks 92-7 win.

 

It reached the point when the All Blacks had all their bench on the field that they were able to pull second five-eighths Ryan Crotty from the field and to continue playing with only 14 men for the last 15 minutes.

 

That was the only favour they did Tonga who had their captain and second five-eighths Siale Piutau cross for a consolation try just out from the end of the game.

 

"We ran out of reserves and Ryan only needed to play for 65 minutes on his return [from a broken thumb]," Hansen said.

 

"Obviously his welfare was more important and it was a good opportunity again to put ourselves under a bit of pressure when it comes to how many we have on the park.

 

"Ben [Smith] came off – he was a bit tight in the hamstring. Beauden [Barrett] had already come off. We could have left Aaron [Smith] sitting on the bench and put him on the wing but we were happy to put Aaron on for TJ [Perenara] and then, of course, we realised we had to take Ryan off at 65 minutes because he's just come back and hasn't played for so long.

 

"He played 40 [minutes] last week and 65 today and will be good to go in a couple of weeks' time.

 

"We had to make that choice and the score told us we could make that choice with relatively low risk.

 

"Everyone got a good run and no injuries. We played some good footy and we got the opportunity to cement some combinations again," he said.

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