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Hansen: Young England not ready yet

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen believes England have taken too long to blood their current generation of Test stars.

The rivals collide at Twickenham on Saturday with the All Blacks looking to complete a 10th successive victory over Stuart Lancaster's side. Lancaster's short reign as head coach has been notable for his selection of young players in what Hansen regards as a product of the conservatism of previous management regimes.

"England will be desperate. Lancaster is doing a pretty good job and has a fair idea of what he wants, but it will take him time," he said.

"He's got a definite style of game he wants to play and he's introducing the athletes to do that.

"He's had to bring in a lot of young guys because they probably hung onto guys too long in the past.

"But they will be physical and the back three is as good a back three as there is in world rugby. The midfield are both big, strong men.

"Owen Farrell has been nominated for IRB player of the year so he must be a handy player and the halfback will tap and on at any opportunity.

"The backs are going to support their forwards and the mindset is to play the game.

"Our focus is to go out and get a performance we know we are capable of.

"If we go out and play badly we will be hacked off. If we go out and play well and get beaten then you accept it."


From Belfast Telegraph