5 Sep 2011

All Blacks acutely aware World Cup is a mental stumbling block

6:46 pm on 5 September 2011

The All Blacks have worked on their mental preparation ahead of the World Cup accepting they choked in previous tournaments, says centre Conrad Smith.

The world's number one ranked side and winners of 10 of the 16 Tri-Nations titles have struggled to bring that success to the World Cup stage.

After winning the inaugural event in 1987, they lost the 1995 final, three semi-finals and four years ago were eliminated in the quarter-finals by France.

Smith says in the past sides have simply tried to make the World Cup like any other test match but they need to accept it's not.