'Everyone's gotta make a sacrifice' – Steve Hansen hits back at All Blacks' camp critics

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has fired back at the criticism at the timing of his mid season camps, with New Zealand Super Rugby sides affected by the timing of the call ups.

With Hansen's squad assembling midway through the current season, a number of key players have returned to their Super Rugby sides injured, with the Crusaders losing prop Tim Perry and number eight Jordan Taufua in the last week alone.

Speaking to media today though, Hansen was affirmative that his camps were indeed for the greater good of New Zealand rugby, ahead of next month's Test series with France.

"Everybody's gotta have preparation time," he said.

"In moments like we've got at the moment, everyone's gotta make a sacrifice. We're sacrificing preparation time for a Test match."

Hansen also argued that the All Blacks' camps did not do any harm to the New Zealand sides this week, with only the Hurricanes losing in their clash with the Crusaders.

"What effect did it really have on the outcome of their games?"

"Apart from the Hurricanes, everyone else won.

"We've got to be flexible, we've got to be adaptable in the world we live in.

"Is it ideal - no, it's not."

Hansen’s mid-season camps have disrupted the Kiwi Super Rugby season. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Steve Hansen raves over Liam Squire's comeback – 'He's a naturally fit guy'

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has spoken of his delight at seeing the return of Liam Squire, as the Highlanders star made his comeback from a broken thumb in Brisbane last night.

Having missed a large chunk of the current season, Squire, 27, returned to the field as a first half substitute for the Highlanders, as they ground out a gutsy 18-15 win over the Reds.

Squire himself was in excellent form, scoring a try as well as coming up with a number of crucial carries for his side.

Speaking to media today, Hansen spoke highly of Squire's return, with the flanker expected to be the All Blacks' first-choice in the number six jersey in next month's Test series with France.

"He was Liam Squire wasn't he," Hansen said.

"Pretty physical. (He) probably went for a bit longer than he wanted to, with the injury, but he's come through it.

"He's a naturally fit guy, and the game time would have been superb for him. It's great."

Squire returned from a broken thumb in the Highlanders' 18-15 win over the Reds. Source: 1 NEWS



'We all know where the nipples are' – Steve Hansen pleased with World Rugby's new tackle laws

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is backing World Rugby's trial of new tackle laws, in a bid to reduce the number of concussions currently seen in the game.

After studies found that 76 per cent of rugby's head injuries come from tackles, World Rugby is implementing a trial policy during upcoming under-20s tournaments where a "below the nipple line" approach is being enforced, hoping to take players' heads out of the equation.

Speaking to media today, Hansen praised the approach, saying that it was necessary for player welfare in the long run.

"I think it's good," he said.

"I think it's better than below the shoulder, because there's quite a lot of games where you make the tackle and it doesn't look to be a bad tackle, but yet it's being penalised.

"The clearer and more simpler you make it - we all know where the nipples are - so hit below that and you're going to be okay."

The below the nipple line tackles will hopefully help avoid concussions. Source: 1 NEWS