ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Monday May 20, 2019

Hansen praises pair of World Cup hopefuls as All Blacks selection begins to heat up

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has admitted that it’s business time for players hopeful of securing a spot in New Zealand’s World Cup squad later this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

With just four rounds left in the Super Rugby regular season, there is minimal time remaining for players to impress the All Blacks selectors as the race for selection in the final 31-man squad heats up.

Plenty of previously unheralded players from across the country have established themselves as potential candidates for a World Cup call-up, with the likes of Crusaders wing Sevu Reece and Blues loose forward Tom Robinson impressing onlookers with standout performances in their rookie campaigns.

While acknowledging that the incumbent All Blacks still stand as frontrunners to make the squad, Hansen said that the door is still open to players not involved within the national set-up.

“The All Blacks are starting to come to the fore and play really well,” Hansen told reporters at the All Blacks ‘foundation day’ camp held in Auckland.

“But you also have some young guys that we are starting to notice, so those guys aren’t doing themselves any harm either.

“But it’s the next few weeks that are the most important, so that’s the time we start watching individuals rather than the games themselves.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The outstanding performances of one-test Chiefs halfback Brad Weber and young Highlanders first-five Josh Ioane in Super Rugby was enough to warrant mention from Hansen, but the 60-year-old was quick play down the credentials of Ioane, who has emerged as a leading candidate to act as the back-up playmaker to Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga in the absence of the injured Damian McKenzie.

“You don’t want to put too much pressure on these kids you know,” Hansen said.

“Every 10 in the country, outside of Beauden [Barrett] and Richie [Mo’unga] is probably thinking they are a chance.

“They don’t need me talking them up, just let them go and play and we will make the decision based on what we see.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Weber has enjoyed a rich vein of form this season, asserting himself as the Chiefs’ primary option at halfback ahead of three-test teammate Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, who made his international debut last year.

As a result, Weber, who has not played for the All Blacks since making his test debut against Samoa in 2015, appears to have usurped Tahuriorangi as the third-choice halfback in the national pecking order behind veterans Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.

Crusaders duo Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond also have cases for inclusion in the All Blacks, but Weber’s form is something that Hansen has taken note of.

“Brad’s playing really well and that’s why Te Toiroa isn’t getting too many minutes,” Hansen said.

“Brad is leading the Chiefs well and Te Toiroa has come back from his offseason probably not in the shape he should have been in, but Brad’s taken every opportunity he has been given.

“That excites me. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword really.”

In other news:

Video Spacer

Related Articles

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Farrell confirmed as out of Springboks Test...

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Manu Tuilagi will play a surprising role...

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Australia say they're the safe bet for RWC...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Unique camera angle of match-winning Simmonds try showcases his ridiculous speed

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Incredible headed try is dominating the internet

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Rob Kearney career highlights ahead of Baa-Baas bow out

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Japan use 50:22 law variation to score excellent try against Scotland

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Two classic tries by Wales nemesis Kurtley Beale ahead of Cardiff return

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 9 HOURS AGO

    WATCH: Owen Farrell backchat montage gives haters what they want

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Lavanini ban for dangerous play sees him out of action until next year

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    McGuigan suspended after that MMA scuffle against Saracens

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Brive fly-half sent off for kick to the head in Top 14

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    MMA training kicks in as McGuigan loses it against Saracens

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 9 HOURS AGO

    WATCH: Owen Farrell backchat montage gives haters what they want

  • 10 HOURS AGO

    Head-scratching scenes in Dubai as Springboks benefit from loophole in rugby laws

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Mathieu Bastareaud stretchered off just minutes into Toulon return

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Incredible headed try is dominating the internet

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Brilliant video demonstrates the flawless communication skills of Luke Pearce

View All

Funnies

  • 10 HOURS AGO

    Head-scratching scenes in Dubai as Springboks benefit from loophole in rugby laws

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Lowe lets loose on critics in brilliant interview after EPIC All Blacks win

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Jarvo69 strikes again before Japan v Ireland clash

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Romain Poite's unique wit will be missed when he retires from Test rugby

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    JOURNEY OF JARVO69: Pitch invader makes headlines with outrageous All Blacks stunt

View All

Amateur

  • 57 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 19 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 40 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 46 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 47 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

View All