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Monday 11 December 2017

All Blacks turn up the heat

New Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. Picture: Reuters/Daniel Munoz.
New Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. Picture: Reuters/Daniel Munoz.

BEATING Australia over three tests this year to extend their grip on the Bledisloe Cup to a 12th year is more important to New Zealand than winning the Rugby Championship, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said today.

Upping the ante on the eve of the Rugby Championship opener, Hansen (pictured) said the world champions had a "mental edge" over the Wallabies and new Australia coach Ewen McKenzie had a problem if he was not feeling the pressure.

"The Bledisloe ranks just behind the World Cup, it's something special and we know it's special to the Australians so we're expecting a hell of a battle tomorrow night," he said at the Olympic Stadium .

Since the All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup back from Australia in 2003, New Zealand have won 21 of 27 tests between the countries with one draw in Brisbane last year.

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