New Zealand leave out Sonny Bill Williams and Nehe Milner-Skudder for Rugby Championship opener

Steve Hansen is confident of New Zealand's chances ahead of the opening Bledisloe Cup Test
Steve Hansen is confident of New Zealand's chances ahead of the opening Bledisloe Cup Test
©PA

New Zealand coach has confirmed a trimmed 32-man squad that will be in contention for the opening Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia in Sydney on next Saturday.

As predicted Sonny Bill Williams has failed to recover from his injury and will remain in New Zealand to continue his rehabilitation while Nehe Milner-Skudder, who left the game of three halves with a jaw injury will turn out for Manawatu in the Mitre 10 Cup competition on Saturday to prove his fitness.

Dane Coles, who last played for New Zealand in November last year will head to Sydney with the squad but is unlikely to take part in the game.

"The attitude has got to be to take it rather than expect it to happen," Hansen said.

Your mindsets got to be one of it's not yours just because you've won it in the past. It's something you've got to go and take every time.

"Nothing in life comes easy so you've got to go and earn it, earn the right to put a hand on it.

"Even if we win this week... whoever wins this week doesn't get to keep it then either, you've only got one hand on it."

New Zealand will be aiming to win the Rugby Championship tournament for the third consecutive year when they head into the competition on 18th August.

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