18 Oct 2009

Dropped quartet have work to do: Henry

12:07 pm on 18 October 2009

The All Blacks selectors have told the axed Isaac Ross, Joe Rokocoko, Hosea Gear and Aled de Malmanche to go away and work on their games to save their Test careers.

De Malmanche is a victim of the decision to only take two hookers, while the selectors have finally run out of patience with Rokocoko.

The dropping of Ross had been foreshadowed, but there'll be many armchair selectors who will disagree with Graham Henry et al over both that and the exclusion of Wellington flier Hosea Gear, one of the form wingers of both the Super 14 and Air New Zealand Cup.

Hawke's Bay's Zac Guildford and Otago's Ben Smith are the bolters on the wings for the end of year tour, where the All Blacks will play Australia, Wales, Italy, France and England as well as a match against the Barbarians.

Henry says Rokocoko and Gear are similar players and they're looking for wingers under the high ball who can counterattack as a back three, and both need to continue to work on that.