England v New Zealand
All Blacks 'most dominant team in history'
November 13, 2013
New Zealand's backs told to "use your shoulders, see both sides, and concentrate on your breathing" © Getty Images
An English newspaper has exposed the All Blacks' motivational methods after gaining access to the tourists' team meeting room.
The Daily Telegraph reporter Oliver Brown took note of written messages on the walls of the room at the New Zealand team's London hotel shortly before the players and coaches used it for a debrief meeting on Monday. The messages were mostly motivational and aimed at boosting morale ahead of Saturday's Test against England, but the nature of the messages is in stark contrast to the low-key approach the players have taken in public media sessions this week.
On the team whiteboard, one prominent message read: "We are the most dominant team in the history of the world."
Brown reported that statistical breakdowns were mingled with other mental reminders dotted around the room. Next to a list of possession percentages was a message: "On Saturday, don't moan, even to yourself." There was a written vow to "reach new levels mentally as a group", while another read: "We are playing England - this is about history, about human nature."
The backs were informed to "use your shoulders, see both sides, and concentrate on your breathing".
The report gave the England camp no tactical insight, but it provided a reminder to the All Blacks that they are in a country where media competition and reporting methods remain more aggressive than anywhere else in the rugby world.
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