All Blacks look to media for support
October 22, 2010
Steve Hansen wants New Zealand's media to do their part © Getty Images
The All Blacks are to break with tradition when naming their team in the future and have asked the New Zealand media to help them deny their rivals an advantage.
Assistant coach Steve Hansen has revealed that the reigning Tri-Nations champions will announce their selection on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays - starting on their forthcoming tour to Hong Kong and Europe - with the aim of keeping their opponents guessing for as long as possible. And Hansen is hoping the New Zealand media will do the patriotic thing and help keep the team's selection out of the public eye.
New Zealand begin their tour with the final Bledisloe Cup clash of the year against Australia in Hong Kong, before moving onto Europe to face England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales on successive weekends
"We were asking ourselves why we give the opposition so much time to sit there and know who's playing and analyse us," said Hansen. "It was making their job easier. We don't want to give them an easy break. Some people might say we've been a bit picky, but we want to give it a try and see how it goes."
Addressing the assembled media, Hansen called on journalists to ignore what they saw on the training field in their reports. This could involve asking media not to report on which combinations of players were running together in training, which could suggest what the likely team was.
"Yes, you'll know who's playing by how they're training and (we'll be asking you) basically keep that to yourselves and writing your stories and reporting your news reports without absolutely coming out and saying well, this is the team," he said. We're all New Zealanders and we're all in it together so I think we all want the same thing, so we'll work through the issue of that with you guys and that shouldn't be a problem."
Hansen said the Thursday team naming experiment would be assessed at the end of the tour before management decide whether to continue with it for 2011.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch