All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has signalled there will be few changes to the All Blacks' line-up for the second rugby Test against Ireland in Christchurch next Saturday.

"I don't think there will be too many," he said on Sunday, a day after New Zealand beat Ireland 42-10 in Auckland in his first match in charge.

Hansen saw the first two Tests of the three-match series as a settling-in period.

"If we have the opportunity and a bit of breathing space [after that], then we will make one or two changes," he said.

"It would be nice to be able to introduce a couple of younger players into Test rugby, whether it's off the bench or starting at some point."

The New Zealand selectors opted for a combination of youth and experience for the series opener at Eden Park.

Three debutants in winger Julian Savea, halfback Aaron Smith and lock Brodie Retallick joined a seasoned core that included 104-cap skipper Richie McCaw, first-five Dan Carter, centre Conrad Smith, prop Tony Woodcock and hooker Andrew Hore.

The mix worked a treat, with Savea grabbing three tries, ace passer Smith turning in a lively display and Retallick doing the business in the tight.

Hansen said the amount of cohesion the All Blacks showed in their first hit-out since their World Cup final victory more than seven months ago did surprise him a little.

"What we were looking for is really good attitude and just trying to establish some form of patterns that we've been working on," he said.

"You also expect your team to take a while to gel when they're coming from five different other teams and they gelled pretty quickly to be fair."

There was one injury concern, with blindside flanker Victor Vito, who got a cut to the head, also pulling up with a knee problem.

Hansen said Vito had a nagging medial ligament strain and an assessment on his availability would be made in mid-week.

NZ Newswire

Editor's Picks

Follow Us

Compare & Save