3 Sep 2015

Discarded ABs to quiz Hansen

11:15 am on 3 September 2015

The 12 All Blacks left out of the World Cup squad got their chance to quiz coach Steve Hansen about why they were omitted on Thursday in Wellington.

All Blacks Charles Piutau and Lima Sopoaga after win over South Africa 2015.

All Blacks Charles Piutau and Lima Sopoaga after win over South Africa 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Andy Ellis, Charles Piutau, Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Ryan Crotty, Nepo Laulala, Jeremy Thrush, James Broadhurst, Lima Sopoaga, Joe Moody, Hika Elliot and George Moala will also be updated on what they need to do to remain in contention for a World Cup call-up.

Hansen confirmed the dozen players are the back-ups the selectors have in mind should someone get injured and said they'll be expected to perform for their provincial sides in the coming weeks.

"It's their moment to have a bit of a chat about why they're not in the team and the other key message is we've got to get across is that this is our expectations of you going forward, there's a possibility you could be on a plane tomorrow so just important that we can get them back playing really good rugby in the ITM Cup (provincial competition) and they can get over their disappointment."

Hansen said none of the dozen 'standby' players will travel to England unless officially called into the World Cup squad.

The larger Rugby Championship squad was cut to 31 players for the World Cup, with both young stars and veterans left out, including Israel Dagg, Cory Jane and Charles Piutau.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said several players were likely to be called on during the tournament due to injuries.

He said the meeting was about respect, and keeping those who missed out up to speed on their World Cup campaign.

"We like to see ourselves as a family and sometimes when your family members get bad news, you've got to give them time to mourn and grieve and then you've got to move on, so it's a chance to do that.

"We're taking 31 (players) and we're likely to need more. History tells us that and so that group's vital for us. So we need to get them refocused and really clear about what they need to do in the next three or four weeks"

Foster said the actual content of the meetings was going to be between the coaches and the players.

He said they wanted to explain the overall reasons why they had picked these 31 players, and then move on very quickly to the plan for the next couple of months.

"They're an important group for us. It's key that we have a strong group back here that are ready to play. They'll be given that message and I guess they've got to get back to work."

Meanwhile, All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina said he was quite happy to put up with the strange looks he was getting in the gym now that he was in the World Cup squad.

Faumuina said there were times when he thought he wouldn't make the World Cup, but his focus now was not only on rebuilding his strength, but also his self confidence, having been selected after playing just 40 minutes of rugby for Auckland at the weekend.

He missed the Rugby Championship to undergo neck surgery, and his return for Auckland was further delayed when he was concussed at training, but was now on the improve.

"There's this little harness that I've got that's mine now and I just have to jump it on one of those cable things and yeah just do some stuff with your neck, just rotations and you see people looking at you funny but it's what I've got to do to make sure the neck is nice and strong."

Faumuina could well play for Auckland again this weekend before the All Blacks head to England.

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