The head coach of New Zealands Rugby World Cup squad played down expectations of a certain victory against a struggling French side when the two sides meet in the quarter-finals on 17 October.
Everyones really excited, I mean youve just got to come here, all of a sudden weve got a few extra people here you know. So the atmospheres growing and its the time of the tournament where the big boys have got to stand up dont they, or you go home. So were looking forward to that challenge and Im sure France are too, Steve Hansen said in a news conference.
Hansen said his team are not considering French form going into the match because Les Bleus have a track record of performing well when it counts. Well be expecting them to come out and play with flair and physicality on Saturday but, as I said, the relationships been great and theres always been some days when you just wonder whos turned up but most of the time they turn up and when its a big occasion they always turn up, and we have to turn up with them. So were really looking forward to it, our guys love a challenge and we know theres not many bigger challenges than playing France, he said.
Hansen said fans back home shouldnt worry about the form of certain players in the team. Firstly, I can understand why theres a bit of concern at home, because theyre at home and theyre not here. So they dont know everything that weve been doing and theyll be a little apprehensive about a few things I guess cause they dont have any control over it, and when you dont have any control over something your tendency as a human being is to worry.
But worry is a waste of emotion, if youre worrying about something that hasnt happened, plan for it and have a plan if it does, if its already happened then youd better have a plan of how youre gonna fix it, he said.
The All Blacks are top of the world rankings and seen by many as favourites to clinch their third World Cup title to break free from Australia and South Africa, who also have two world titles each to their name. New Zealand have scored a total of 25 tries so far in this tournament, the most of any team. But are behind Argentina and South Africa in terms of total points scored.