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Steve Hansen points finger at World Rugby, Six Nations for lack of progress in Pacific rugby

World Rugby schedules are the only thing stopping the All Blacks from facing off against the Pacific island nations on a regular basis, according to coach Steve Hansen.

Yesterday's 92-7 victory in Hamilton was just the All Blacks' sixth Test match against Tonga, having played 585 total matches in their history.

Those numbers don't make for better reading against the other Pacific nations either, having played against Fiji five times, and Samoa seven in this history of Test rugby.

The All Blacks' huge margin of victory against Tonga in Hamilton once again pointed out the gulf in class between the top and second tier nations operating within Test rugby, with no clear solution on the cards.

Asked about the future prospects of regular games against New Zealand's Pacific neighbours though, coach Hansen detailed that World Rugby's current scheduling hampers any plans, placing more emphasis on money ahead of competition.

"It would be [beneficial]," Hansen began.

"The problem we've got is the calendar doesn't allow you to do that. We have these wonderful ideas about growing the game, but we don't have an organisation at the top that wants to say 'this is what we're doing.'

"The Six Nations are world Test rugby programmes, they don't want to give that up. Until they're prepared to give that up, we're not going to see any progress in that area."
 

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The All Blacks coach lamented his side's few opportunities against the island nations. Source: 1 NEWS


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