Hansen: Less is better when it comes to NZ-England tests

Joe Moody is assisted by Dr Tony Page after suffering a bad cut to his eye during training

Injury-depleted England are facing the strongest available All Blacks team complete with the likes of Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane and Brodie Retallick, but are buoyed by last Saturday's stirring victory over South Africa. "It's exciting. We're playing England, not the Lions, we have to remember that so we're up for it".

Now restored to the starting XV, his strike rate of 19 tries is evidence of a predatory instinct that Jones insists must be allowed to flourish.

Jones said that his conviction that rugby had become a fully 23-man operation was based on trying to deal with the ever-increasing physical demands of the modern game.

In Gracenote's analysis of conversion kicking rates, something which they argue is a better measure of true kicking ability due to the fact every kick has to be taken and harder kicks can not be declined, New Zealand have a success rate of 74.18%.

If the often outspoken English coach wasn't already aware how highly-motivated the All Blacks are to dominate at Twickenham this weekend, he certainly should be now after Steve Hansen raised the stakes significantly by suggesting this match is more important than last year's British and Irish Lions tour.

"If you've got half of it missing, you can't wipe your eye, so it'll affect your eyesight long-term so we need to make sure he's OK".

"They're making a comeback aren't they, the Spice Girls?"

There were also 27 Englishmen among the 131 global rugby players to have died in the war.

"He's always up to no good. I am looking forward to seeing it and then having a real good ding dong".

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There is no place in the squad for centre Tuilagi, who missed out last Saturday due to a groin strain but returned to training this week. But then they realise, we can be in this, but it's too late. "He's tough so he gets up and he plays", said Jones. "Warrior" and "rooster" have been added to "spiritual leader" in outlining the playmaker's importance to England. "He puts his body on the line, he doesn't play in a dinner suit".

"We manage him every week". We want to be film directors'. "He's a competitor. You can't put blokes like him in cotton wool".

On entries into the 22 beginning with a scrum, New Zealand average 3.31 points, whilst possessions in the same area beginning with a lineout only average 3.07 points.

It is true those two big suspensions stymied Jones's possible intent to select Ashton and let him add to his 19 worldwide tries, which is the record for a current England player.

Hansen is under no illusions about the scale of the task either, adding: "I don't know who's writing them off - it would be foolish to do that".

'But I think today players see it all the time.

If the All Blacks can win playing attractive, running rugby this weekend, while England stick to its maul, kick, defend approach, even better.

The closest he came was "Michael Lawes", who at the time was mayor of Whanganui, presumably in reference to Courtney Lawes.

By the end of the season, Ashton had chose to leave France for Sale, making him available for England once again.

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