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Hansen stands firm

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CARDIFF - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is fending off accusations of thuggery as his team brace for a week in the British media spotlight.

Heading into the final leg of their four-Test tour against England at Twickenham, New Zealand are earning the wrong sort of press following hooker Andrew Hore's king hit on Welsh lock Bradley Davies.

The incident in the first minute of New Zealand's 33-10 win in Cardiff on Sunday resulted in hospital treatment for Davies and is likely to warrant a citing and subsequent ban for 34-year-old Hore.

Flanker Adam Thomson was suspended for two weeks for stamping in the tour-opener against Scotland.

Media reports have focused on the All Blacks' cynical approach while Hore's incident became a focal point in social media in the wake of the Welsh Test.

Hansen expects to lose Hore for the England Test, having called three-Test hooker Hika Elliot into the squad as cover.

However, he disputes that his world champion side adopt the dirty approach that is being touted.

He said the players play with physicality but it is built on discipline, pointing to the lack of retribution when captain Richie McCaw was on the receiving end of two off-the-ball incidents this year.

"We don't do things intentionally," Hansen said.

"I think we've shown plenty of times over the past 12 months that we're a disciplined side, you've only got to take a look at all the incidents that have surrounded Richie and we've not jumped in and made a big scene."

"I'm resigned to the fact he (Hore) is probably going to get cited, it happens every time we come up here. I think they think we're thugs or something, but we don't play any differently to anyone else."

Joining Elliot in the squad as injury cover this week is uncapped Canterbury utility back Tom Taylor, whose call-up suggests first five-eighth Dan Carter will struggle to face England after missing the Cardiff Test with an Achilles tendon injury.





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