England v New Zealand, November 21, 2009
All Blacks reload for Twickenham showdown
November 16, 2009
New Zealand's Dan Carter is all-smiles in Milan, All Blacks training session, Palalido, Milan, Italy, November 9, 2009
The smiling assassin: New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter is set for a return to action against England this weekend © Getty Images

New Zealand have cranked up the pressure on under-fire England by confirming that their strongest side will line-up at Twickenham next Saturday.

A second-string All Blacks side laboured past Italy in Milan on Saturday and they are expected to recall all their big names to face England who, despite edging out Argentina, are reeling from a second lacklustre performance in as many weeks.

After a largely dour weekend of international rugby, New Zealand assistant coach Steve Hansen believes the Test match stage desperately needs an open, flowing match when his side meet England and confirmed the All Blacks would select their strongest starting XV with fly-half Dan Carter set for a return after serving a one-match suspension.

"At the moment kicking has overtaken the game. They tried to change all the rules and halfway through the process they decided to play differently up here," said Hansen in reference to the recent ELVs experiment.

"They didn't want to play some of them so we've got a hybrid type of game and it's ended up with everyone kicking. They probably need to bring the mark back anywhere on the field, then you can't kick it. They've always played differently up here, too, and we've just got to accept that. But I think the game of rugby needs a good game; not necessarily just a battle up front but some good ball movement and some good tries."

Hansen conceded his side were not immune to an over-reliance on kicking and admitted the All Blacks relied on a safety-first approach in their past two Test wins over Wales and Italy, which made it six consecutive northern hemisphere tests where they had not conceded a try.

"Sometimes you've got to kick the ball because of the defences and the kicking game is part of opening it up for later on. We probably have been guilty of kicking too much."

Carter was at the heart of a kick-dominated clash with Wales in his last appearance and in the wake of his coach's comments it will be interesting what tactics he adopts in his latest rematch with resurgent England pivot Jonny Wilkinson. Hansen observed the criticism of England and their manager Martin Johnson, but predicted they might try to open the game up.

"They'll obviously take us on up front, they're a big pack and Wilkinson will kick them around the park, but I think they'll run the ball a bit more than those other two sides we've played. We always respect them. Twickenham's not an easy place to play and England are a proud side.

"We've all copped our bit of flak this year and we've managed to bounce back from it so I'm sure they're capable of doing the same thing."

The All Blacks will not name their side until Wednesday and while their line-up should be reasonably predictable, most interest will surround who starts at No.6 between Adam Thomson and Jerome Kaino, which of Tom Donnelly or Jason Eaton will partner lock Brad Thorn, and whether Zac Guildford, so impressive on his debut against Wales, gets another chance on the wing.

Hansen said the selectors got a good look at their entire 33-man squad in the first three weeks of the tour, as was the aim, and would revert to the "tried and true". From the starting 15 in Milan, prop Neemia Tialata, Donnelly, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Cory Jane are the only potential survivors.

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