TODAY |

'He's got the fundamentals of a good five-eighth' - Steve Hansen raves over new call-up Richie Mo'unga

Steve Hansen has praised young Canterbury first-five Richie Mo'unga, after the playmaker was called into the All Blacks' squad as cover for Beauden Barrett.

Richie Mo'Unga of the Crusaders gets the ball away during the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Friday, May 13, 2016. Source: Photosport

Mo'unga, 23, was the only new face as the All Blacks announced their squad for the third and final Bledisloe Cup Test with the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday, with his coach quick to single out the young playmaker after a stellar season with both the Crusaders and Canterbury.

"He's young, still in the infancy of his career and led the Crusaders well during the Super competition," Hansen told media.

"He's got a kicking game when he needs to kick, he can run, his passing game is okay. He's got the fundamentals of a good five-eighth.

With Lima Sopoaga looming as Barrett's likely replacement at first-five, and Damian McKenzie seemingly comfortable in his current role at fullback, Mo'unga could find himself on the bench for the Test, although Hansen insists that it's important not to rush the young playmaker.

"This is a different environment which comes with a lot of pressure which can be overwhelming for some people."

"We'll do what we do with all the young fellas and take our time."