25 Jun 2009

Pressure on some All Blacks this week

8:40 am on 25 June 2009

New Zealand rugby players have been warned their international futures could be in doubt if they do not perform better against Italy this weekend.

The All Blacks coaches made no secret of their displeasure at the efforts of some players in the drawn two-match series against France.

Although overwhelming favourites to beat Italy easily, they made a series of changes to their team for this week's one-off match against Italy.

Assistant coach Wayne Smith says he doesn't think anyone was really happy with the performances against France, and they've got a lot of pressure on themselves to make improvements.

Smith didn't single out players the coaches were unhappy with but says they all needed to lift their games, adding there's probably an uncomfortable feeling for a lot of players.