All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has urged Rugby Australia not to "pull the trigger too quickly" on Wallabies coach Michael Cheika despite poor recent results.

Launching a defence of his under-fire Australian rival ahead of Saturday night's clash against the Wallabies in Japan, Hansen offered his support pointing to Manchester United's faith in Sir Alex Ferguson before an unprecedented run of football success.

"I do know that continuity has been proven over and over again to be a pretty good recipe," Hansen said.

"Look at Alex Ferguson. He was just about to get the sack and went on to do the job for 30 years — and he wasn't too bad.


"I just think that sometimes we pull the trigger too quickly on the coach — sometimes I guess it is warranted, but most time I don't think it is ... I think it's a good thing (Australia) have given the players a platform that's secure, because they know the coach is secure and once that happens people can get on and do what they have to do."

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika. Photo / Getty
Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika. Photo / Getty

The All Blacks are chasing a 3-0 series whitewash having already extended their 15-year hold on the Bledisloe Cup but are in no way underestimating the treat of the Wallabies.

Slipping up last year after winning the first two tests against the Wallabies, Hansen said he expected nothing less than a strong performance from his side.

"They're Australian so they don't need too much motivation," said Hansen, "Through our history, Australia is probably the team that's hurt us more than any other team.

"Everyone knows what it's like between the two countries — whether it's footy, marbles or tiddlywinks, we want to beat them. We need to be right on top of our game."

Sonny Bill Williams is set to play his 50th test on Saturday as part of a strong All Blacks side also featuring recalled centre Ryan Crotty and Damian McKenzie.

Meanwhile, Wallabies star Israel Folau will make his first start at centre, while veteran Sekope Kepu could earn his 100th cap after being named among the reserves.

The All Blacks will play the Wallabies on Saturday night before they face the 2019 World Cup hosts Japan in Tokyo on November 3. They then fly to Europe to complete their five-match tour against England, Ireland and Italy.