All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has taken a cheeky shot at Wallabies counterpart Michael Cheika, calling him "Mickey Mouse" and "emotional", while also revealing the mental games he likes to play.
Hansen made the comments at a Circa Theatre fundraiser last night in Wellington during an interview with former television presenter Ian Fraser, Stuff reported.
During the interview, Fraser reminded Hansen of a quote from former Wallabies player Mark Ella, who said due to the quality of players available to Hansen, "Mickey Mouse could coach the All Blacks to victory".
However, the quick-witted Hansen fired back his response, taking aim at Cheika in the process.
"They've got Mickey Mouse coaching Aussie."
Hansen admitted he and his team play mind games with opposition coaches to knock them off their game.
One example was against Cheika during the Rugby Championship, when the All Blacks made sure not to use his name at all during media opportunities.
"Michael Cheika, who by the way isn't a bad bloke, he just gets a bit emotional, and as you well know we thought we'd get him emotional and take his mind off the job," he said.
"The plan was not to call him by his name but just say he's the Australian coach. Then he went on a tirade about not respecting him.
"I guess what we're trying to do there is take his mind off the job and while I say he's not a bad bloke, he's got to control his emotions. I think he's got a good side, he does a good job of the coaching, but sometimes he just lets himself down there."
Another example of their attempts to psych a coach out was Warren Gatland during the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour but the All Blacks eased up after he was portrayed as a clown in a cartoon by the New Zealand Herald.
"We probably had him where we needed him and then the bloody Herald made a picture of him as a clown, which I didn't think was right, so I had to back off."
Things are different though for Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.
"[Schmidt] is a good coach and he is a mate. We've done a lot of coaching against each other here in New Zealand and at one stage we nearly coached Auckland together with Graham [Henry].
"He's a good man, a good coach and he's in a different space then he's had to be after beating us, so they've copped a lot of expectation. It's quite good to see someone else get it rather than us."