Steve Hansen decision could lead to Ireland’s Joe Schmidt joining All Blacks


Status of best team in the world is on the line in this weekend's test in Dublin according to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

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IT took Ireland 111 years to record a first win over New Zealand, but they have now beaten the All Blacks for a second time.

All Blacks head coach Hansen this week declared that the victor of Saturday's showdown at the Aviva Stadium would be the number one team in the world.

New Zealand retained their world No.1 status despite losing to No.2 side Ireland - but head coach Hansen had claimed before the clash that the victor would swipe the global bragging rights.

He said: "When they first turned up in 1905 they were incredibly tough to knock over and I don't think they've changed too much". "They looked wrecked. Honestly, I thought the All Blacks looked really exhausted out there and it just showed".

New Zealand held onto their official world number one ranking despite losing to second placed Ireland, as the hosts pulled off a defensive masterclass to shut out the visitors.

"I've huge respect for Steve, Fozzy, and Scott MacLeod, their coaching staff".

Schmidt, who prior to getting the Ireland job had coached Leinster to two European Cups, would not play ball either when asked if the players did not deserve to have the tag of favourites heading to Japan.

"So for us to be favourites when they have been the world number-one team for nine years, and continue to be the world number-one team".

Joe Schmidt paid tribute to Kieran Marmion and Luke McGrath after the game, who proved that they have travelled a long way since the Six Nations game in Wales in which Schmidt preferred to persist with an injured Conor Murray than throw Marmion into the fray.

"I thought the crowd were phenomenal tonight".

After the 40-29 triumph against the world champions in Chicago, the momentum is with Ireland as the World Cup looms ever larger. We work away and what we do is. one of the things with the All Blacks is they work so hard.

Read has promised an exciting affair: "I'm sure there'll be a lot of emotion, a lot of heat out here, which is what you want to see when two big teams come up against each other".