Watch: Steve Hansen weighs in on latest haka debate

Steve Hansen has weighed in on the latest haka debate fuelled by "The Jersey" written by British rugby writer Peter Bills.

As the All Blacks departed from Christchurch this afternoon for the Rugby Championship opener the coach responded to claims made in a book by former All Black Kees Meeuws that the haka was overdone.

"I found it interesting that someone like Kees would say its been used too much when he was there he thrived on it," said Hansen.

"We don't use it any different than we've ever used it, it's part of the commencement of the game, and it means a lot to this group, they understand all about it and we understand it’s not for anybody else other than ourselves."

The All Blacks coach responded to claims in the book by former All Black Kees Meeuws that the haka was overdone. Source: 1 NEWS


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Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell to join Eddie Jones' England setup

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell is on the verge of linking up with England, according to a report out of the Daily Mail.

Mitchell, 54, will reportedly join Eddie Jones' coaching set up as a defence coach, filling the boots of Paul Gustard until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The only stumbling block appears to be between the English Rugby Football Union, and Mitchell's current employers, the Bulls, with the parties unable to agree on a compensation fee.

Mitchell was coach of the All Blacks from 2001 to 2003, overseeing the disappointing World Cup campaign in Australia, and has since taken jobs in Australia, South Africa, England and the USA.

USA Coach John Mitchell.
Maori All Blacks v USA at Toyota Park in Chicago, USA. Friday 4 November 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
USA Coach John Mitchell. Source: Photosport


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Michael Hooper passed fit to face All Blacks in opening Bledisloe Cup clash

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has passed a fitness test and will join exciting uncapped backs Tom Banks and Jack Maddocks in an expanded squad for the Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks.

Openside flanker Hooper, who signed a new five-year AUS$6 million Rugby Australia contract, hasn't played for seven weeks since injuring his hamstring early in the first Test against Ireland.

Prop Scott Sio (shoulder) and outside back Dane Haylett-Petty (knee) have also passed fitness tests and will be available for Saturday's opening round Rugby Championship match at Sydney's ANZ Stadium against New Zealand.

Coach Michael Cheika has cut eight players from his train-on squad, trimming it to 28.

The exclusion from the squad of NSW Waratahs back Curtis Rona increases the likelihood utility back Reece Hodge will start at outside centre, though fullback Israel Folau could still be a contender.

Also omitted were forwards Folau Faingaa, Jermaine Ainsley, Rory Arnold, and Caleb Timu and backs Billy Meakes, Jordan Petaia and Sefa Naivalu.

The Wallabies have just completed an intensive week-long camp in Cessnock in the NSW Hunter region and are regathering in Sydney today.

Wallabies' James Slipper, left, Michael Hooper and Rob Simmons, right, acknowledge crowd after the match with Australia winning 29-15.
Wallabies' James Slipper, left, Michael Hooper and Rob Simmons, right, acknowledge crowd after the match with Australia winning 29-15. Source: Associated Press


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