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Steve Hansen

New ZealandThe All Blacks will get another crack at matching the record for consecutive Tier One Test victories when they face England in Hamilton this weekend.

The record of 17 victories has been reached by the All Blacks side of the late 1960′s and Nick Mallett’s Springbok team of the lates 1990′s, and Richie McCaw will have his third shot as captain at joining them on Saturday.

The Wallabies have twice ended an All Blacks winning streak on 16 victories in recent years, springing a surprise in Hong Kong back in 2010 and then earning a draw in Brisbane in 2012.

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Aaron Cruden

Aaron Cruden

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen praised the bravery and class of flyhalf Aaron Cruden for producing the match-winning moment in a tight Test.

Cruden was hailed as the hero of the All Blacks’ last gasp 20-15 win over England at the weekend, not for the five penalties he kicked but for the one he turned down.

Cruden not only caught England napping but also his own teammates when he opted to tap and run when the All Blacks won a handy penalty with the score locked at 15-all.

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Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen

New ZealandSteve Hansen could never be accused of being a conservative.

The All Blacks coach has struck a balance between future and present in naming three new caps on the reserves bench to play England at Eden Park on Saturday.

Centre Malakai Fekitoa, lock Patrick Tuipulotu and halfback TJ Perenara have all been named in the 23-man squad for the first test of the international season.

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Malakai Fekitoa

Malakai Fekitoa

Patrick Tuipulotu

Patrick Tuipulotu

New ZealandThe All Blacks have called up two new players and recalled two World Cup-winners to the squad to face England.

Highlanders midfielder Malakai Fekitoa and Blues lock Patrick Tuipulotu are the two uncapped players, whilst loose forwards Jerome Kaino and Victor Vito return after extended absences.

The backs – forwards split sees 17 forwards selected (two hookers, five props, four locks and six loose forwards) and 14 backs (three halfbacks, three first five–eighths, four midfielders and four outside backs) and the squad has a combined total of 1,125 Test caps.

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2013The year was full of spectacular moments and performances as well as disappointing lows and infamous incidents; we name and shame the best and worst in our 2013 Awards.

New Zealand and Wales ruled their respective hemispheres for the second successive year, the All Blacks enjoying a flawless 2013 campaign.

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New ZealandKieran ReadSteve HansenAll Blacks and Crusaders vice captain Kieran Read has been named the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year for 2013.

New Zealand rugby claimed a triple scoop on the awards as the All Blacks were also named team of the year while coach of the year went to Steve Hansen.

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New ZealandAll Blacks coach Steve Hansen was a proud man after a dramatic comeback against Ireland capped an unbeaten year for his side.

The world champions were forced to come from behind to become the first team to win every match in a calendar year in the professional era.

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New ZealandIt was not the perfect weekend for the All Blacks, with France running them close. This begs the question whether Daniel Carter is still the flyhalf maestro he once was.

All Blacks coach, Steve Hansen, says the All Blacks will be better against England compared to how they went against France.

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New ZealandSteve HansenAs expected, New Zealand All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has given his charges the week off after their stellar performance over the weekend, clinching The Rugby Championship against the Springboks from South Africa.

They are nursing quite a number of bumps and bruises, the result from the hard encounter with the Springboks.

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New ZealandRichie McCawThe All Blacks headed to South Africa on Monday banking on the return of talismanic captain Richie McCaw to put the seal on another successful season.

Although New Zealand require just a single bonus point to retain their Rugby Championship title, they are determined to seal it by beating arch rivals South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday.

And the All Blacks are confident they will have McCaw in their arsenal.

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Steve HansenNew Zealand rejected suggestions that Argentina will resort to foul play in Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test in Hamilton as they brace for a physical challenge from the South Americans.

Argentina came under the microscope after their recent defeat to South Africa, with Leonardo Senatore receiving a nine-week suspension for biting while Pablo Matera was accused of eye-gouging, though he was found not guilty.

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New ZealandUncapped Hurricanes loose forward Brad Shields has been included in a 30-man All Black training squad who will gather in Auckland this week ahead of the Rugby Championship.

Blues utility back Francis Saili is the second uncapped player included in the squad by All Black coach Steve Hansen, who has as expected welcomed back captain Richie McCaw.

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The All Blacks selectors, Coach Steve Hansen, Assistant Coach Ian Foster and fellow selector Grant Fox, have selected 35 players to attend two training camps ahead of the three Steinlager Series Tests against Ireland.

The first wider training group camp will be held in Auckland from next Sunday 20 May – Tuesday 22 May with the second camp in Wellington from Sunday 27 May – Tuesday 29 May.

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The forgone conclusion has been made official – Steve Hansen is the new All Blacks coach.

Hansen has been announced as Graham Henry’s successor at a media conference in Wellington this afternoon after the New Zealand Rugby Union board met earlier today to consider the appointment.

Hansen was the only candidate recommended by an appointments panel to go through to a full interview with the board, which unanimously voted for him.

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