Ben Smith All Blacks’ World Cup door remains ajar for Liam Squire – ‘if he’s interested’

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Ben Smith Liam Squire put in an impressive shift for Tasman last Saturday in their big win over Wellington.

CHRIS SYMES/PHOTOSPORT

Liam Squire put in an impressive shift for Tasman last Saturday in their big win over Wellington.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says the World Cup door is not shut on Liam Squire – with one important caveat.

There is a growing school of thought that identifies the former All Blacks blindside flanker, who was a shock omission from the Rugby Championship squad after it was revealed he asked not to be considered, as the potential missing piece of the puzzle for the defending champions’ World Cup campaign.

Squire had only a handful of appearances for the Highlanders at the end of an injury-ravaged Super Rugby season and informed Hansen prior to the selection of his first national squad of the campaign that he “didn’t think he was ready”.

At the time Hansen lauded the stance taken by his experienced loose forward, who has played 23 tests and been the go-to No 6 since Jerome Kaino headed offshore. The All Blacks coach called it a “brave decision” and confirmed he would have picked the 28-year-old in his initial squad.   

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Since then Squire has joined the Tasman Mako for the Mitre 10 Cup campaign and tucked away an outstanding half (including the opening try) as starting No 8 in their statement 45-8 opening victory over Wellington last Saturday – just hours before the All Blacks forwards were manhandled by the Wallabies in Pe

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