Watch: What the? Akira Ioane, Vaea Fifita take part in bizarre All Blacks core workout

All Blacks flankers Vaea Fifita and Akira Ioane took part in a head-scratcher of an exercise during the team's gym session this morning, in preparation for this week's Test against Wales in Cardiff.

The forwards are looking in fine shape ahead of this week's Test against Wales. Source: 1 NEWS

The All Blacks' youngster still hit the gym this morning, after being ruled out of facing Wales. Source: 1 NEWS

The pair put their outstretched heads onto a bench, resting their bodyweight solely on their necks to give their cores a workout.

Who knows what the back-row duo are up to here. Source: 1 NEWS


All Blacks 'not the fearsome team we're used to' - ex-Wales captain says NZ far from their best

The current All Blacks side are not the force to be reckoned with that they once were, former Wales captain Gwyn Jones has said.

Ahead of this week's Test between New Zealand and Wales in Cardiff, the former captain has spoken about the supposed gap between the All Blacks and the rest of the rugby playing world closing in 2017.

At times this year, the All Blacks have looked far from their free-flowing best, having to grind out tough wins away to the likes of Argentina, France and Scotland - something Jones says can play into Wales' hands in Cardiff.

 "The All Blacks, if you look at the last 12 months, have lost three matches, they've drawn one, South Africa came within a point, and Scotland came within a pass (of victory)," Jones told the BBC.

"They're not the fearsome team we're used to seeing come over here and beat us.

"They're not the All Blacks who dismantle teams by 30 points and walk through a game," Jones said.

However, Jones went on to say that despite their supposed woes, the All Blacks are still in the box seat for victory on Sunday morning.

"They're still a fantastic team who play wonderful rugby and they'll be favourites because they are the best team on the planet."

The All Blacks will meet Gatland's Wales side next week. Source: 1 NEWS



Video: Sam Cane plays down Hansen's competitiveness being fuelled Gatland rivalry - 'It doesn't matter who we play'

All Blacks flanker Sam Cane has given his honest input into how his coach is approaching this weekend's game against Wales and perceived rival Warren Gatland, saying Steve Hansen's competitiveness is the same as it always is.

Cane was drawn into the Hansen-Gatland maelstrom in this morning's press conference when he was asked if his coach seemed more motivated than usual to prevail this weekend.

"Steven's one of the most competitive people I've ever come up against," Cane said.

"I haven't got any inkling or insight from him that he's treating it different to any normal Test."

It comes after both coaches refused to acknowledged there was any ill-feeling between them, with Gatland saying overnight he has no issues with the team despite his allegations of knowing "explosive" details about the All Blacks' camp.

"I have heard of some things about the All Blacks that could be quite explosive if they were made public, and if it does get dirty then I will raise a couple of those things. At the moment I'm just keeping my counsel," Gatland wrote in his book, 'In the Line of Fire: The Inside Story from the Lions Head Coach'.

The All Blacks coach wasn't in the mood to talk about Welsh coach. Source: 1 NEWS

But Gatland had nothing but praise for his fellow Kiwi coach today.

"People try to make a lot of stuff about myself and Steve, but from my point of view there are no issues between us," Gatland said.

"I have a huge amount of respect for what he has achieved in the game, and the success he has had as an All Black coach. He has been absolutely outstanding.

"I look forward to catching up with him on Saturday, having a beer after the game. In recent years, on a couple of occasions, we have gone out as two management groups for meals during the week. We all understand the pressures we are under, but they are not as a result of our relationship." 

Cane says his coach isn't treating this week's Test with Wales differently to any other. Source: 1 NEWS