Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Curry blow for England as they prepare for New Zealand test

Curry blow for England as they prepare for New Zealand test

Jones is "cautiously optimistic" that Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes will recover from respective groin and back problems in time for Saturday but Tom Curry appears to be losing his battle with an ankle issue.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has revealed a deep respect for England counterpart Eddie Jones by saying they talk "probably every second week". Beyond that we don't know how long, but it's not within the next three Test...

"The bottom line is, we talk and our wives talk. It just comes in a different wrapper".

England will face back-to-back world champions New Zealand for the first time in four years at Twickenham on Saturday, with Hansen insisting Jones' men remain a global power.

We are in a good position but we are going to have to have a good preparation week and I think the last couple of weeks will allow us to play some good footie this weekend.

"And the expectations when you coach a top side like England are, you're expected to win, and play well". So he's not too bothered by it.

Asked this morning by a United Kingdom writer about his "experimenting" last weekend at Ajinomoto Stadium, and whether that would be continuing this week before the test against England at Twickenham, Hansen seized his chance to fire back.

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"The Lions put a lot of pressure on the All Blacks in areas they didn't enjoy and were able to get them off rhythm and off tempo".

'So I think the referees are doing a great job.

They've got some good ideas about the game so we've got plenty of enthusiasm there.

"When we were successful with the Wallabies we could beat them because we could get to their set-piece, particularly their line-out", he said.

Playing the Wallabies, Springboks and Pumas so often in the Rugby Championship, and enjoying sustained success against these teams, can create mental challenges when attempting to inspire the same motivation. 'You've been involved in rugby, things don't change quickly'.

Obviously if they're not quite on the money then we're going to have a plan and it does open up an opportunity if we're smart so we have to make sure we're all aligned.

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