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Hansen insists England must avoid panic button

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said despite finishing in fifth place in the Six Nations, England must not panic because they are a good side. 


England’s 24-15 loss to Six Nations champions Ireland at the weekend was their third successive defeat – after they were beaten by Scotland and France – but Hansen believes they will return to winning ways soon.

“They [England] have some very good players and one of the best coaches in the world,” he told the BBC.

“They should have a bit of faith and I’m sure they’ll come back.

“Yes they’ve lost three in a row and that’s the reality, but it doesn’t make them a poor side and nor does it mean they’re in crisis.”

Hansen feels the effect of last year’s British & Irish Lions tour had impacted on England’s season.

“It’s always tough after a Lions tour, where they had so many involved and then not having a break when they got back,” he added.

“It’s something we thought might happen and it’s difficult. They’ll have an off season and I think the off season will be really important for the English guys. I’m sure they’ll sort it out and will be a tough team to beat in November.”

England and the All Blacks are due to meet at Twickenham on November 10.

Hansen said Six Nations and Grand Slam winners Ireland had handled their Lions better.

“They’ve got central contracting which allows them to maybe have a bit more control over playing time and playing welfare than the countries where they don’t have that luxury,” he said.

“You see the result of that. Guys are coming out and even though they’ve been on the Lions tour, the same tour that the English boys have been on, they’ve had the opportunity to rest up and be mentally and emotionally and physically able to go out and play good Test rugby.

“They’re believing in themselves and have a lot of confidence.”

The All Blacks face Ireland a week after their game against England in November.



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