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All Blacks 'need to lose' - Sir Graham Henry

Sir Graham Henry believes a loss could help the current New Zealand team in their quest to make history and win back-to-back World Cups.

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Under Steve Hansen, the All Blacks have not been beaten since England shocked them at Twickenham in 2012 and Henry sees parallels between the All Blacks' current run and the ill-fated World Cup campaign of 2007.

In that tournament, the All Blacks were knocked out in the quarter-finals by France, their worst ever result at rugby's showpiece event.

In the past year the, All Blacks have needed a last-gasp converted try to Ryan Crotty to sneak a win against Ireland, have held on for a 12-12 draw with Australia in the Bledisloe Cup and hung on against South Africa in Wellington last weekend.

In an interview on Radio Sport - exactly a year out from the 2015 tournament kicking off - Henry was asked how much better Hansen's All Blacks could get.

He said: "To be fair I think they need to lose.

"Shag [Hansen] won't like me saying that but I think it galvanises people.

"It makes them reanalyse where they are at and making sure they are on the button."

Henry continued: "I think there are some similarities to 2007 here where we didn't get beaten for a long time, we had a soft draw in the preliminary games going into the finals and it's the same for this side."

The World Cup-winning coach highlighted the draw with the Wallabies in Sydney as an example of what a disappointing result could do for a side.

"They came out and played brilliantly in Auckland [in the second Bledisloe Cup Test]. You cannot play much better than that," Henry said.

"The odd hiccup here and there gives you the opportunity to reanalyse where you're at, look at everything, turn over every stone and make sure you're on the right track.

"If you don't do that, if that doesn't happen, you might miss something."

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