Steve Hansen has urged his New Zealand side to show their character when they take on Wales in the Rugby World Cup bronze match.
The All Blacks saw their hopes of retaining their title dashed by England in the last four, with Eddie Jones’ side recording an impressive 19-7 victory in Yokohama.
While England face South Africa in the final on Saturday, New Zealand’s focus is on Wales, with Warren Gatland’s Six Nations champions their opponents in Friday’s contest to decide who takes third place at this year’s tournament in Japan.
It will mark the final matches in charge of their respective teams for both Gatland and Hansen – and the outgoing All Blacks coach is determined to show his squad can come back from a rare defeat and end on a high.
“It’s about resetting the button and making sure that we go and have a performance that not only we can be proud of, but every New Zealander around the world and every fan of the All Blacks,” Hansen told a news conference.
“The most important thing we can do is play at the highest standard we can play, coach to the highest standard you can coach, or be the best manager you can be.
WATCH | The All Blacks penultimate press conference of #RWC2019 brought out plenty of emotion as players reflected on the tournament and looked ahead to the final match against Wales on Friday.#NZLvWAL #BACKBLACK pic.twitter.com/TCa5neqRNe
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 30, 2019
“Doing that, we show not only ourselves and our team-mates but also our country that we’ve got some character.
“The most important thing we can do now is show that if your character’s tested, you can stand up to it.
“That’s the greatest success we can take out of this tournament, the greatest success we can show young people in New Zealand who are aspiring All Blacks or aspiring to be anything. You’ve got to have character.”
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