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All Blacks not thinking about England

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James Mortimer     29 Oct 2013     Getty Images

However, that Twickenham date, with the Red Rose hosting the All Blacks on November 16, is a few pages back in coach Steve Hansen’s diary.

More to the point, it is a page that hasn’t been referred to by the boss, as there are a couple of matches to play before the World Champions run out onto the 'cabbage patch' in London.

The All Blacks are not a team that casts their gaze many matches ahead, for they know the pitfalls that come with not giving an opponent full respect.

Indeed it has become a mantra for this side to take each week as it comes, and while England’s heroics last year always ensured that the November 16 date will be one eagerly watched by the rugby world, Hansen said to Fairfax Media he has other things to worry about first.

“I've heard a lot of people talk about England,” Hansen said.

“But we've got to play Japan, then France, and they're not a bad side.

“England aren't even on my mind at the moment. I get a bit frustrated hearing about England.

“We'll deal with them in England week."

The All Blacks opening tour match is against Japan, and while the tourists may be expected to win, Hansen will be watching carefully to ensure the quality of the performance remains high.

“It is fast, and we've got to be careful we don't get caught up playing a helter-skelter game that hasn't got control in it and hasn't got the physical intensity we need to put on them,” he said.

“There has to be a physical component, we have to do our core roles really well, and play the game we want to play rather than the harum-scarum stuff.”