Rugby World Cup 2019: Jones' spying claim 'best clickbait in the world', says Hansen

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Eddie Jones' suggestion that England were spied on ahead of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals was branded "the best clickbait in the world" by New Zealand boss Steve Hansen.

Australian Jones this week said England were aware of someone filming from an apartment near their training base in Chiba, though he did not accuse last-four opponents the All Blacks directly.

Hansen, who named made one change to his line-up for Saturday's match in Yokohama by replacing Sam Cane with Scott Barrett, was unsurprised by the media's reaction.

"Eddie and I both know that all is fair in love and war and there is nothing better in war than throwing a wee distraction out that you guys [the media] can't resist," said Hansen.

"It's the best clickbait in the world: 'Someone's spying on us.' He didn't call at us. He was very deliberate in not doing that.

"He talked about it being somebody else. It was probably the same bloke who videoed us when we were there, but everyone has jumped on it and he's been successful in getting the clickbait.

"He was very particular about what he said, that someone had filmed their training. He said it could have been a supporter. He didn't say New Zealand did it."

Hansen bears Jones no ill will over the comments and revealed the two have since been in touch.

"It's only a mind game if you buy into it. We're not buying into it," said Hansen. "It's allowed us to have a good laugh. I'm chuckling away.

"He’s been in touch with me, but not about spying. I get a text, 'How are you going, Steve?'. 'Pretty good, thanks Eddie.' He's laughing, I'm laughing. You guys are getting what you want because everyone is clicking on the bait."

Jones also claimed that while England can play with freedom in the semi-finals, "the pressure will be chasing [New Zealand] down the street" as they attempt to win the World Cup for a third time in succession.

Hansen replied: "I have talked about pressure since I have been All Blacks coach. Early in our history we probably ran away from it and ... let it chase us down the street.

"These days we acknowledge it's there. We get it every game ... doesn't matter if it's a quarter-final, semi-final or a Test match.

"It would be very naive not to acknowledge [the pressure] to be on both sides."