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Coach Steve Hansen said players have been putting their hands up when given the chance.
Josh Ioane won’t be available for Otago’s Ranfurly Shield defence against Southland in a fortnight..
Ioane was left out of the All Blacks’ 35-man squad for the Bledisloe series but Otago’s hopes that he would be released for the start of their Mitre 10 Cup campaign and the Shield defence against Southland in Dunedin on August 17 – the same day as the second Bledisloe test – have been dashed.
Instead, Ioane will travel to Perth with the All Blacks as a non-playing squad member and continue in that role for the following week’s test against the Wallabies at Eden Park.
“I had a couple of chats with the All Blacks coaches,” Otago coach Ben Herring told Stuff.
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“They’ve said, ‘plan for him not being there for the start of the season and all going well you’ll see him at the back end of the season’.
“He’s going away with the Bledisloe Cup squad, not to play just to be involved in it, and they might keep him for a week or two after, and then just depending when our games fall is when they’ll want him back.
“I’d say that after those two weeks [for the Bledisloe tests] they’ll want him to be playing, so they’ll send him back.”
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