28 May 2010

Laurie Mains can't believe Andy Haden's Crusaders allegations

6:45 pm on 28 May 2010

While the All Blacks selectors have been in Christchurch to further discuss their shrinking options for next month's Tests against Ireland and Wales, an off-field row over race at the local Super 14 franchise is grabbing all the headlines.

Andy Haden's future as a Rugby World Cup ambassador is thought to be on the line after he accused the Crusaders of race-based selection policies.

But a former All Black and All Blacks coach has poured cold water on the allegations.

Laurie Mains say he doesn't believe there is any basis to Haden's assertion that the Crusaders operate a quota of three Polynesian players.

Mains doesn't know where Haden dredged the idea up from.

The former coach doesn't think the debate about racial stereotypes among rugby players is at all helpful and he has trouble agreeing with the suggestions that have been raised since the 41-Test lock spoke out.

Mains says the former and current Crusaders coaches Robbie Deans and Todd Blackadder wouldn't stand for such policies even if they did exist, and anyway that'd be counter-productive.