Hansen challenges All Blacks to step up against Ireland
New Zealand will need to raise their game in order to overcome a confident Ireland side next weekend, according to coach Steve Hansen.
The All Blacks ran in 10 tries as they overcame Italy 68-10 in Rome on Saturday, with Hansen making 12 changes from the XV that suffered a shock 40-29 defeat to Ireland in Chicago last weekend.
It was a pleasing return to form for the New Zealand coach, who wants to see his side up their level once more when they travel to Ireland next Saturday.
"Next week is going to be a massive week for us. We've got a big challenge in front of us so having everyone in good form is helpful and everyone is challenging for places," Hansen told Sky Sports.
"But the bigger picture is also good. We've got a group of guys who got some opportunities to add to their Test experience and that will bode us well in the future.
"It will be a good challenge for this team, we will see really where we are. Ireland aren't going to lie down, they'll take a lot of belief out of what they did last time we played them and we've got to step up to the plate."
Captain Sam Cane admitted it was important for the All Blacks to respond positively after their 18-match winning streak was ended by Ireland last time out.
"We needed to bounce back after falling from All Blacks standards last week," he said.
"The way we gelled and managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over through 80 minutes was pleasing."