All Blacks coach Hansen optimistic after Italy thrashing

The All Blacks will have a good idea of where they really are when they take on Ireland for the second time in space of three weeks.

That is according to coach Steve Hansen, who saw his team beat Italy 68-10 as they rebounded from a historic 40-29 defeat at the hands of a rampant Ireland in Chicago.

Ireland are coming off a big win of their own after seeing off Canada 52-21 on Saturday.

Hansen said while his side, who featured a host of second-string players, did score 10 tries against the Italians, there were some aspects of their game they could work on.

"Next week is going to be a massive week for us. We've got a big challenge in front of us so having everyone in good form is helpful and everyone is challenging for places.

"But the bigger picture is also good. We've got a group of guys who got some opportunities today to add to their Test experience and that will bode us well in the future," he said.

"It will be a good challenge for this team, we will see really where we are. Ireland aren't going to lie down, they'll take a lot of belief out of what they did last time we played them and we've got to step up to the plate," he said.