All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has revealed World Rugby have changed the process around head injury assessments at halftime to avoid another incident like the one in which Sam Cane was denied the right to play the second half against the Springboks.

During the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup opener at Yokohama, Cane was told to undergo an HIA at half time by the independent match doctor after taking a knock in the first half.

Cane passed the test but could not then return to the field, as half time lasted for 15 minutes, five more than the maximum time any player is allocated to undergo testing.

Hansen was understandably miffed at this situation after his side's 23-13 victory and today revealed it would not be repeated after World Rugby assured him the process would be amended.


"We've had a notification that they're going to modify the time-keeping so instead of it happening when they say there's going to be a test the clock doesn't start until you get to the actual room itself," Hansen said.

"Last night was an exception to the rule. Normally an HIA will happen during the course of the game and they'll take the player off and normally that's when it starts.

"Last night Sam was back in our changing shed and they decided they were going to do one so he then had to go to the other side of the stadium basically and then do the test so it wasn't any fault of his. It was the actual test that took longer than it should've.

"It wasn't anything we could control so I think they've now worked out that's not common sense is it?

"We're here to look after the athlete so they've modified it which is great, good response. They've shown good leadership and changed it.

"I'm glad they've sorted it out. I wasn't overly happy about it last night, one of your best players missing 40 minutes of the game but it is what it is. They've acknowledged they haven't got that part of it right and they've changed it so you can't ask for more."

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles, who left the field at half time with a minor calf complaint, watched the bizarre sitaution play out.

"To be fair, if that was me I'd be losing it, it's just the way I am," Coles said. "He actually handled himself pretty well. I actually said to him 'mate, why are you even fired up? You can't do much about it', and he said 'oh, yeah, fair enough'.


"We sat next to each on the sideline for the second half. He was frustrated… but he handled it pretty well, surprisingly."

Having virtually assured they will top their pool, the All Blacks now plan use their full squad in the next two matches against Canada, in 10 days, and Namibia.

As they did four years ago, they will also train at an intensity that leaves them fatigued for these matches, before then tapering back for the quarter-final stage.

"We're now in a situation where we control our own destiny with regards to where we're going to finish in this pool," Hansen said. "We can control how we're going to train."

While Hansen was giving little away, over the next two weeks the All Blacks are again likely to resctict elements of their game against these weaker nations in order to test themselves in certain areas. One example could be kicking more to challenge their defence.

Hansen planned to watch Ireland's match against Scotland, one of which will be New Zealand's quarterfinal opponent, and England against Tonga.

"We'll definitely watch that game because we might be playing one of them and because of my friendship with Eddie I'll watch England but I won't watch too many of the others until we need to."