Hansen challenges Mo'unga ahead of Lions showdown

    2018-08-01 15:15

    Christchurch - New Zealand coach Steve Hansen says Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo'unga must impress in Saturday’s Super Rugby final against the Lions if he wants to be considered for an All Blacks starting spot.

    Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.

    READ: Lions have no plans to alter game style for final

    Mo'unga has been a star performer for the Crusaders in Super Rugby this year, but appears to still be behind Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie in New Zealand’s flyhalf pecking order.

    Hansen was asked whether he thought Mo’unga should be a starter for the All Blacks in the upcoming Rugby Championship.

    According to the Associated Press, the coach’s response was: "He's playing behind a Rolls Royce pack... but, yes, he is (putting pressure on Barrett and McKenzie). He's playing the way we're expecting him to play behind a pack like that.

    "It's going to be interesting to see how he does in a big game. It's not a Test match, but it's probably the closest you'll get to one without playing one. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he drives the team around the park."

    The 24-year-old Mo’unga made his All Blacks debut off the bench against France in Dunedin in June.

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