Rugby Union

Hansen and Gatland.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen refuses to discuss Warren Gatland rivalry

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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen refused to be drawn on his rivalry with compatriot Warren Gatland ahead of next weekend’s autumn international against Wales.

The pair are set to lock horns once again on Saturday after they clashed during the summer when Wales coach Gatland led the British and Irish Lions on a tour of his homeland.

Hansen, however, who saw his team record a narrow 22-17 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday, would not talk about their relationship.

“You know I don’t want to go there so there’s no point asking me because I’m not going there,” Hansen replied when asked about Gatland during a press conference in Edinburgh on Sunday.

After being pushed further, he added: “As I just said, I’m not going there.”

The All Blacks have suffered a double injury blow ahead of the game at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff with Rieko Ioane and Luke Romano picking up problems against Scotland.

Wing Ioane, who has begun his international career in outstanding form, scoring nine tries in 12 Tests, has been ruled out with a shoulder injury, while lock Luke Romano sustained damage to his heel.

Ioane’s absence could mean a return for Seta Tamanivalu, with David Havili and Matt Duffie also in contention.

New Zealand v British & Irish Lions

Speaking about 20-year-old Ioane, Hansen said: “It doesn’t look like he’s going to be right for Saturday, he’s done a rotator cuff, so quite weak.

“He’s the rookie and player of the year nominee for a reason, he’s played really, really well so it’s an exciting challenge for someone else to step up and do that job.

“I’ve got plenty of faith in the bloke we’re probably going to pick. He’s going all right so we’ll see how he goes.”

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Topics:
Wales Rugby
British & Irish Lions
New Zeland Rugby
Rugby Union

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