Rugby Union

All Blacks go All White for training sessionahead of England showdown

All Blacks go All White for training session in London as Beauden Barrett, Kieran Read and Co gear up for crunch clash with England at Twickenham

  • England welcome the All Blacks to Twickenham on Saturday afternoon
  • It promises to be a huge encounter, with both teams having won last time out
  • Steve Hansen put his men through their paces in Lensbury on Tuesday morning
  • The All Blacks boss is relishing the chance to take on Eddie Jones this weekend 

The All Blacks have tried to channel the mindset of their next opponents by training in dazzlingly white shirts.

New Zealand take on England, who famously don an all-white kit, at Twickenham on Saturday for the first time in four years and the tourists trained in London for what promises to be an almighty encounter.

The All Blacks come off the back of a huge win over Japan, while England themselves earned a hard-fought win against South Africa at HQ last weekend. 

Kieran Read and some of his fellow All Blacks donned dazzlingly white shirts in training

Kieran Read and some of his fellow All Blacks donned dazzlingly white shirts in training

Sonny Bill Williams also took to wearing the white strip as New Zealand trained in London

Sonny Bill Williams also took to wearing the white strip as New Zealand trained in London

All Blacks veteran prop Owen Franks (L) limbers up in the white jersey ahead of the session

All Blacks veteran prop Owen Franks (L) limbers up in the white jersey ahead of the session

Back-rower Read pops the ball off to a team-mate as the All Blacks warm up for training

Back-rower Read pops the ball off to a team-mate as the All Blacks warm up for training

Coach Steve Hansen has revealed a deep respect for England counterpart Eddie Jones by saying they talk ‘probably every second week.’ 

The coaches faced each other in a rugby Test once before in 2003, when Jones’ Australia dispatched Hansen’s Wales in Sydney.

‘Talking to Eddie, I know he and England are very excited about this game, and we are too,’ Hansen said.

‘We usually talk either by text or by phone, probably every second week. It’s always good to have other people who are doing a similar role to yourself to be able to talk to.

‘First and foremost, you’ve got to have some form of relationship that allows you to get on with each other. You don’t ring people up you don’t like, just because they are doing the same job as you. So it probably indicates I like him and he might like me; I don’t know.

‘The bottom line is we talk, our wives talk, and that’s not surprising. I think he’s a good bloke.’

New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett goes through some skill work during a backs' session

New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett goes through some skill work during a backs’ session

Steve Hansen oversees his side's session in Lensbury as they gear up for Eddie Jones's side

Steve Hansen oversees his side’s session in Lensbury as they gear up for Eddie Jones’s side

Despite a slump this year after winning the Six Nations in 2016 and 2017, England are still regarded as a global power by Hansen, who also respects the work of Jones.

‘The only people that don’t understand what it’s like to be a head coach of an international team are the people who’ve never been one,’ Hansen said. ‘There’s a lot of pressure there, all the time, whether you’re winning or losing. It comes just in a different wrapper.

‘And the expectations when you coach a top side like England are, you’re expected to win, and play well. Eddie more than anybody understands that. So he’s not too bothered by it.

‘The bottom line is he’ll be going about doing his job like he always does. And looking from afar, I think he’s doing a pretty good job.’

New Zealand's Karl Tu'inukuafe (left), with his trademark moustache, appears in good spirits

New Zealand’s Karl Tu’inukuafe (left), with his trademark moustache, appears in good spirits

All Blacks back-rower Ardie Savea wraps up warm for the training session on Tuesday

All Blacks back-rower Ardie Savea wraps up warm for the training session on Tuesday

Hansen was impressed by how Jones managed to prepare a depleted England side to upset South Africa 12-11 last weekend.

‘He’s got a tremendous work ethic, Eddie; he does a lot of homework and through that he will have identified some areas he’ll want to try to target,’ Hansen said.

‘Does that give him any better idea how to beat us than anyone else? Maybe. But there’s a lot of good coaches out there.

‘To win a Test against a good opponent you’ve got to do your homework and things have to fall your way a little bit.

‘He’s had some success against New Zealand in the past, but hopefully he doesn’t get any on Saturday.’

New Zealand are coming off the back of a convincing victory against Japan last weekend

New Zealand are coming off the back of a convincing victory against Japan last weekend

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