New Zealand’s All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen says focus is on the World Cup. Reuters
New Zealand began the on-field build-up to their defence of the World Cup with a scratch combination and a scratchy 20-16 win over Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.
South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus described debutant Herschel Jantjies as “awesome” after the 23-year-old scrum-half scored two tries in a 35-17 triumph over Australia in their opening Rugby Championship clash on Saturday.
With the Rugby Championship being seen as little more than a World Cup warmup for the southern hemisphere’s top four nations the abridged tournament could produce a surprise or two amid the tinkering with tactics and selections.
The 56-year-old Portuguese returns to management for the first time since being sacked by Manchester United in December, and replaces Mauricio Pochettino, who was sacked on Tuesday.
Captain Tim Paine said on Wednesday Australia were wary of being “surprised” by Pakistan’s young pace attack, which could include 16-year-old sensation Naseem Shah,
Brazil ended a run of five games without a win by easing to a 3-0 victory over South Korea in a friendly in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday with Philippe Coutinho scoring the pick of the goals.