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We now know Shannon Frizell and Dalton Papalii’s chances of wearing the All Blacks No 6 jersey have plunged dramatically.
Yet their departures from the squad, which has been reduced to 34 for the Bledisloe Cup tests in Perth and Auckland on August 10 and 17, still haven’t provided clarity as to who will play blindside flanker at the World Cup.
Loose forwards Frizell and Papalii were among the five players released on Wednesday as the All Blacks selectors keep sinking the lid prior to finalising their 31 players for the global tournament in Japan.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said he was “happy enough” with the depth at blindside flanker. And that was it.
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While he also confirmed nothing had changed in regards to Liam Squire, who made himself unavailable before the original squad was named, the conversation stopped there.
We do know that for the unwanted five of Asafo Aumua, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Josh Ioane, Frizell and Papalii, the task of breaking back in the squad has clearly got tough
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