'Phenomenal' Ioane has the world at his feet, says Hansen

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen heaped praise on "phenomenal" winger Rieko Ioane following his side's 33-18 victory over Wales on Saturday.

Ioane was a surprise selection after recovering quicker than expected from a shoulder injury sustained in the win against Scotland last weekend.

And the Blues speedster fully justified his inclusion with two tries and a key role in another for Anton Lienert-Brown, while Waisake Naholo on the opposite wing crossed for the other two.

Ioane is nominated, along with team-mate Beauden Barrett, for the World Rugby Player of the Year award and Hansen is excited about the 20-year-old's potential.

"Both of them [Ioane and Naholo] are pretty special," Hansen said. "One's 20 and thank goodness his shoulder came right, that's all I can say!

"He's phenomenal. If we can keep his feet on the floor, he could go anywhere that kid.

"And Wais has just got better and better with the confidence of playing and he's pretty special too.

"Both of them tonight have been big contributors to the team right around the park.

"They score tries, we all see that, but there's other stuff they do as well, which was good."

Discussing Ioane further, Hansen continued: "He's quick and when he's got the ball you think: 'Wow, what's going to happen?'

"He only needs half a yard because he's so quick and he's strong with it.

"We've just got to keep his feet on the floor."

New Zealand had to withstand sustained Welsh pressure early in the match but proved more clinical in taking their chances.

"We defended really well in that first half when we couldn't get our hands on the ball," he added.

"Then, after half-time, we came out and lifted the tempo and started to get our share of the momentum.

"When we got that we started to take the opportunities that were presented and we didn't miss too many opportunities.

"So that kept us well in the game and eventually we won it because of that."

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