All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen Focused on Ireland World Cup Quarter-Final Despite £7.4m Horse Race


All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has insisted a horse he part-owns running in a £7.4m race won't distract him from his side's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland.

Nature Strip will run in Australia's most lucrative horse race, The Everest, just a five hours before New Zealand's last-eight clash with Ireland in Japan on Saturday.

Hansen is attempting to guide the All Blacks to a third successive World Cup triumph, and a second under his leadership.

Asked by a reporter which of his 'horses' he was more nervous about, Hansen said: "I don't know if the boys would be really that keen on being called horses but obviously it's a highlight to have a horse in a race like The Everest.

"There's not a lot I can do. I can't ride him, I can't carry him, I can't train him. So, it's just a matter of sit back and enjoy that for what it is.

"But you can have an influence during the week with this team and we've tried to do that and we've tried to create an environment where we can get to Saturday, excited, full of energy and ready to rumble.

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