Co-existence the key for Tests and Sevens in 2016

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Lynn McConnell     01 Aug 2014     Getty Images

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the New Zealand public would expect the Sevens to win a gold medal in Rio de Janiero and, at the same time, they would expect the Test team to keep winning.

Hansen said what the Rugby Union had to do was put a process in place that supported the Sevens but which also didn't undermine the 15s game.

"2016 is going to be a big year for whoever is in the team as there could be a lot of changes [after the 2015 Rugby World Cup].

"You wouldn't want a whole lot of people to go [to Sevens] but there is certainly room for some people to go and it is just about getting that right really because it will affect the franchises as well. You don't want all the franchises affected either or just one franchise affected by losing a whole lot of players.

"There's been some really good discussions about it, no-one's panicking and everyone is on the same page.

"It's a massive opportunity, the Olympics, as is Test rugby so I am sure the New Zealand Rugby Union will do what is right and Titch [coach Sir Gordon Tietjens] will have a really good side and the All Blacks will have a good side," he said.

Hansen understood that the Sevens Commonwealth Games silver medal in Glasgow had upped the ante in terms of interest but it was one loss in 31 games and those things happened.

"We've just got to accept that and go away and do the right thing," Hansen said.

All Blacks utility back Ben Smith, a Commonwealth Games gold medal winner in Delhi in 2010 said at the moment next year's Rugby World Cup was a big goal for all the players.

He wasn't thinking about the Olympics at this stage. He was concentrating on this year's Rugby Championship.

"I'm sure a lot of people will be making decisions over the next few years but my time with the Sevens I really enjoyed and I'm sure a lot of people will want to be part of the Olympics," he said.

Lock Brodie Retallick joked that someone of his body type wasn't really a Sevens player but he was always available.