All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admits he is willing to sacrifice the Rugby Championship for this year's ultimate prize - the World Cup.
Speaking to media in Auckland today, where his recently selected squad minus the Crusaders contingent have assembled, Hansen had no qualms saying he was happy sacrificing early-season results if it meant they could win a third consecutive world title in Japan later this year.
There are players in this squad who won't make the cut for Japan, but Hansen said he had to take risks to manage workloads in the coming months.
When asked about where he saw the Rugby Championship involving South Africa, Australia and Argentina, Hansen said it was third in his list of priorities.
"Do we want to win it? Yeah, but if don’t win it we won’t lose any sleep over that," he said.
"We want to win the Bledisloe Cup for sure, and we want to win the World Cup.
"So, along the way we have to make some sacrifices to do that, and we may to take some risks, but hopefully we get some rewards from taking those risks."