All Blacks have 'room for improvement'

2017-05-30 10:20
Steve Hansen (Gallo)

London - The All Blacks have "plenty of room" for improvement and have not reached their potential, coach Steve Hansen said on Tuesday ahead of a three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions.

Hansen told The Times the squad were breaking in new players and re-establishing themselves after the loss of stars such as Dan Carter. 

"I am very happy with where we got to at the end of 2016," said Hansen. 

"Has it reached its potential? I don't think so. I still think there is plenty of room for us to improve.

"Clearly we lost a lot of experience and leadership after the World Cup in 2015 so last year was about re-establishing ourselves and putting a marker back in the ground about how we want to be and I see this year as a continuation of that," said Hansen. 

He dismissed fears that flyhalf and rugby world player of the year Beauden Barrett may not measure up to the Lions' kickers. 

"I don't think we've lost a Test match through his goalkicking," said Hansen. 

"People are panicking because he's not goalkicking for the Hurricanes. 

"I don't care (that he isn't the Hurricanes' first choice kicker). I know he can mentally cope with the task of goalkicking in the arena. 

"As long as he is doing his training and going through his skill acquisition of goalkicking through the week, then it doesn't worry me if he is goalkicking on Saturday or not." 

The Lions, whose only Test series victory in New Zealand was in 1971, arrive on Wednesday at the start of a nearly six-week tour.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  steve hansen  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who would you like to see start in the No 10 jersey for the Springboks in the first Test against England in June?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.