Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Schmidt All Blacks match, says McCaw

Schmidt All Blacks match, says McCaw

"If I did have some advice for him, I wouldn't be telling him through the media", Hansen began.

"I'm assuming Conor Murray will play, they have a good spine", he said.

Try-scorer Kieran Marmion, who limped off with an ankle problem after half-time, was cleared of serious damage in better news for Ireland ahead of next weekend's clash with New Zealand.

"It's not the injury it's really just how ready Conor is; how fully fit he is".

"Again, if you follow on, I think he beat four tackles in his next carry". So it is tough to come back into a game of that magnitude though.

Ireland have made a winning start to the November global series with a 54-7 success over Italy in Chicago and a hard-fought 28-17 victory against Argentina in Dublin.

"Joe rang me up and just said: "you haven't played", which was really fair enough". Will Addison stepped in to make his first start and didn't let Ireland down, but Ireland will want to restore Ringrose with Bundee Aki.

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Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is confident centre Robbie Henshaw will be fit to face New Zealand next week and has not completely ruled out scrumhalf Conor Murray from making a surprise return when the world's top two teams meet in Dublin.

"It's hard for the All Blacks to be bad two games in a row", said Ledesma.

"Yes, where we are right now, it will tell us a lot and I think regardless of what happens in the next 10 days, everything is a benchmark", Schmidt said. And the Kiwi has warned his players not to get distracted by all the talk of New Zealand next Saturday, promising they will be watching that game "from the stands" if they fail to perform against the Pumas.

Schmidt noted how narrow the recent points differential has been against his native country, with a 21-9 loss last time out and an agonising last-gasp 24-22 defeat in 2013 bookending the famous 40-29 victory in Chicago.

"Maybe it's the expectation we have of ourselves or that you guys have of us now that we come out and hit the ground running every time", said Schmidt.

Hansen is also contracted until the Rugby World Cup, where his side will seek an unprecedented third successive title and fourth overall, with speculation growing in New Zealand over who might replace him if he does step down.

He also played just six games for the Blues and was under scrutiny for underperforming when he did take to the field, although Hansen added that he was the type of player whose form improves with matches.

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