Hansen signals few changes for second Test

By Robert Lowe, NZ Newswire Updated June 10, 2012, 4:04 pm

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.

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  1. stephen04:46am Monday 11th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Bring back Nonu Beauden for Cruden Thompson for Vito Messam to bench SBW to bench Weepu back to club rugby and more K.F.C T J Perenara to bench Guilford gone all together Ranger or Cory Jane if fit back on wing

  2. Asesh10:59pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    It seems some people only watch haka not the rugby. The rugby i watched Weepu played an excellent game. (Weepu good on ya mate)

  3. DocMarten08:30pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Well at least we all now know what Piri Weepu brings to the side...someone to lead the Haka!

  4. LJ08:29pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    All Blacks done well!! Great game to watch!! do it again for the second test!! Our new caps done excellent work great game!!

  5. Michael08:10pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Top effort and great to watch. Awesome footie and the Irish also entered in to the spirit of it. Good team effort and well done all. Also good to see the Irish give it a crack too... so differant to watching the Poms ... you will never see me paying to watch that outfit play ... once was enough.

  6. Kiwi05:48pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    What i really think is that Richie should be replaced by Weepu. Not to mention SBW as vice captain. Now that would be the team to beat them all. Don't ya all think, K1w1.

  7. Debbie05:25pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    reid had another awesome game..mcgaw and vito bit slow at getting to the breakdowns..backs played well especially conrad smith and dagg..

  8. Ghost05:16pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Bob you go tell victor hes got a big mouth....probably find you may have a few new bruises too tuf guy!!!

  9. andrew05:06pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    a couple of knock ons, does not a shocker make

  10. PG05:05pm Sunday 10th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Exciting...The challenge to beat Ireland...sleepless nites and a cure for the male groping epidemic.


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