Steve Hansen explains his quarter final team

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Oct 2019, 5:48PM
Steve Hansen says there was some toguh decisions. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Steve Hansen explains his quarter final team

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Oct 2019, 5:48PM

The All Blacks have named their side to play Ireland in the quarter-finals on Saturday. 

Anton Lienert-Brown and Jack Goodhue have won the nod to start in the All Blacks midfield for Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland in Tokyo.

Goodhue gets the nod despite only playing a total of 100 minutes since the Bledisloe Cup loss in Perth with a hamstring injury.

Sonny Bill Williams has been named as bench cover.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen explained his side.

"We feel we've selected a great mixture of talent in our 23, who are in great form, and the squad includes many players who have a lot of Rugby World Cup knockout match experience. Together with our experienced management team, that brings a deep understanding of what is needed to get the job done.

"There's a lot of energy and excitement in the team which is normal for this stage of the tournament where the winner takes all. It will add extra pressure to both sides.

"Past Rugby World Cup history is important because of the positive or negative experiences you've had. But ultimately it is what happens on the day that counts."

Hansen added that all 31 players had been fit and available for selection, which was an added bonus in this stage of the tournament.

"This is a great reflection on the players themselves and the staff who have done a great job getting them through the pool play phase of the tournament. We are very happy where the team is at at this stage and it feels like the team is right where it needs to be for what will be a physical and fiercely-fought encounter."

He says it was a tough call to leave out Ryan Crotty.

"In this case, Ryan's missed out. It doesn't mean to say that if we are fortunate enough to make it further into the tournament he won't make the next team."

Ireland have never won a quarterfinal before, but have beaten the All Blacks in half of their last four encounters.

Radio Sport reporter Elliot Smith joined Heather du Plessis-Allan from Japan to discuss the team and what to expect from the Irish side. 

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