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Hansen: Kiwis can take heat

Steve Hansen says the All Blacks are coping with the pressure ahead of their Rugby World Cup semi-final against Australia on Sunday, and are well aware of the desperation of New Zealanders to end their long drought at the tournament.

"Everyone feels pressure, it's how you react to it that's the key," the Kiwi co-coach said.

He said the All Blacks and coaches were aware of how New Zealanders might react if a loss to arch-rivals Australia ended the team's quest for its first World Cup title since 1987.

"We've felt that for four years," Hansen said, referring to the gloom that affected New Zealand after the All Blacks' quarter-final elimination in 2007.



RFU respond to allegations

The English RFU has launched an investigation into allegations of player misconduct during England's World Cup campaign.

Any player found to have breached the RFU's elite player agreement or their code of conduct could face a fine or an international suspension, acting CEO Martyn Thomas announced.

The off-field conduct of some squad members had been in the spotlight since a group of them enjoyed a night out drinking in Queenstown, and it culminated in Manu Tuilagi being detained by NZ police and fined £3,000 by the RFU for jumping off a ferry into Auckland harbour.



Les Bleus ready to run at Welsh

France defence coach David Ellis predicts Wales will struggle to contain France's traditional running game in Saturday's World Cup semi-final.

Wales have "played teams who kick and are defence-orientated, so logically they have not been tested much", Ellis said. "But we will test them, without doubt."



Dragons deny drinking bans

Wales coach Warren Gatland insists rumours about his team's good behaviour during the World Cup have been exaggerated.

"There has been a lot made of us that we've been like monks," he said. "There's been an alcohol ban ... that's completely untrue.

"There's been no alcohol ban in this squad."