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26 Feb 2018 12:29
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    Hansen defends new All Blacks camps

    Steve Hansen admits the newly introduced All Blacks camps aren't ideal but they are necessary to prepare properly for June Test matches.

    Steve Hansen says the All Blacks camps to be introduced during the Super Rugby season are a necessity in an increasingly cramped season.

    New Zealand Rugby is yet to announce any details around the contentious camps but it has been widely reported there will be four of them, with players taken away from the Super Rugby teams during the week but still be available to play games.

    Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd hit out at the camps, believing they are "really short of high performance" in how they will compromise the preparation of Super Rugby teams by removing leading players.

    Boyd also hinted at a lack of consultation with Super Rugby teams.

    All Blacks coach Hansen spoke about the contentious camps for the first time when quizzed by journalists at the Halberg Sports Awards, where he won a leadership award.

    Hansen said he was reluctant for Super Rugby teams to be disrupted but there was no other realistic way to get his team up to sufficient speed before hosting a three-Test series against France in June.

    He has previously said one week together ahead of the first Test is insufficient and it explained why the All Blacks had previously under-performed in their year-opening matches.

    "Unfortunately with the way the season's structured, you've got to have some preparation to be able to play another international team of the standard of France," Hansen said.

    "If you don't have that, you run the risk of under-performing and the expectation is that we win. It's not an ideal situation for Super teams, we know that, it's not an ideal situation for players, we know that, and it's certainly not an ideal situation for us, to not have any preparation time."

    Former New Zealand Rugby high performance boss Don Tricker was a key figure in devising the camps.

    Tricker has since departed for a prominent role at the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team but Hansen believed he and other NZR officials had kept Super Rugby teams sufficiently informed of developments.

    "We worked through a process where a lot of people were spoken to, and Don Tricker was involved in that on our behalf, and we came to an agreement to what we've got," Hansen said.

    "It is what it is, it's not ideal for anybody but we're supportive of each other, hopefully.

    "I know there's been a little talk in the media about it but at the end of the day, we have to adapt and adjust to what we can do. Let's get on with it, work together and do the right thing by the players."

    It has been reported the first camps will be one-day affairs in Christchurch and Auckland, followed by two three-day camps in Auckland.


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