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Steve Hansen 'not too worried' by All Blacks' drop in rankings


Wales may have overtaken New Zealand at the top of the World Rugby rankings last weekend, but All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen says he's "not too worried" to have fallen off the number one ranking for the first time in almost 10 years.

After missing the opportunity to move to number 1 in the world a week ago, victory against England has seen Warren Gatland's Six Nations Grand Slam winners rise to the top of the pile leading into the World Cup, the first time they've ever been ranked number 1.

New Zealand's drop to number 2 comes in spite of a 36-0 win against Australia in Auckland, winning the Bledisloe Cup for the 17th time in a row.

The fall in the rankings came as a surprise to head coach Steve Hansen.

"How do you work that out?" he pondered.

"We won the Cup last night and lost the rankings. Ask yourself how that works.

"I've never understood their system. You win a game and you lose the top ranking?"

However, the 2015 World Cup winning head coach says he isn't overly concerned about the slide, and was seemingly happy enough to hand the baton - and the pressure - over to Wales.

"When you sit back, it's something that's going to happen anyway – the top-ranked sides are playing each other in the northern hemisphere, and you get more points if you beat top sides.

"We just need to get ourselves in the right frame of mind to go to the World Cup and win that. I'm not too worried about rankings.

"They've (Wales) been great, no problem. Now they've got the expectation.

"They're the No 1 team in the world taking it into the World Cup. It couldn't be better timing."

Reassuringly for New Zealand, Steve Hansen played down the shoulder injury suffered by out-half Richie Mo'unga during the second half of the win against Australia. The Crusaders star was taken off after falling awkwardly in a tackle, but Hansen has said the injury doesn't appear to be a worry ahead of the World Cup.

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All Blacks New Zealand Richie Mo'unga Rugby World Cup 2019 Steve Hansen

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