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'The second horse is the All Blacks?' - Hansen happy to talk about his horse running in $15m Sydney race

It may be quarter-final week, but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was still happy to say it was a “highlight” to have his horse, Nature Strip, run in the $15 million Everest race in Sydney on Saturday.

After being asked about the two races, the All Blacks being the other one, on Saturday, Hansen quipped: “You think the second horse is the All Blacks do you? I don’t know if the boys will be that keen on being called horses.

"Obviously, it’s a highlight to have a horse in a race like the Everest, there's not a lot I can do, I can't ride him, I can't carry him, I can't train him so it's just a matter of sit back and enjoy that for what it is."

Unlike the Everest, Hansen could obviously have an influence on Saturday’s result against Ireland, which meant that race was the more important one.

“You can have an influence during the week with this team, we’ve tried to do that, we’ve tried to create an environment where we can get to sat excited full of energy and ready to rumble.

“As you get closer to that Saturday there’s less and less that you can do because you’ve got to hand it over to your players.

“During the course of the game it’s important we make good decisions but really it’s the guys in the middle of the park who are going to do the damage.”

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Jack Tame is joined by Paul Moor and Ofisa Tonu’u as all eyes turn to the knockout stages in Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

“Which one is more important? Well obviously the one you have control in.”

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The All Blacks coach said he would enjoy his horse’s run in the Everest race on Saturday for what it is. Source: 1 NEWS