Hart plays up Northern Hemisphere chances
September 27, 1999
All Black's coach John Hart is attempting to take the pressure of his side by claiming the Northern Hemisphere sides "have a great chance to win the World Cup".
Hart, who's New Zealanders are favourites for the title, told reporters that Five Nations' sides had their best chance yet of lifting the William Webb Ellis Trophy
"The Northern Hemisphere over the last 18 months has improved dramatically while home advantage will play a big part. Home advantage is a great thing in international rugby. There has been significant growth in the Northern Hemisphere, certainly Wales's performances in the last 12 months, Scotland in winning the Five Nations and France - you can never underestimate them. I think it is a wide-open competition."
The New Zealanders who open in Bristol against Tonga on Sunday are looking to keep themselves focused ahead of the tournament, only allowing public access to training for 15 minutes over the next week, and Hart's comments may be seen as a way of taking the pressure of his side.
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