Brodie Retallick The dark side of being an All Black

Brodie Retallick These components are interesting.

Brodie Retallick Owen Franks received the news he's likely played his last test match in the black jersey because the game required a more mobile prop.


Owen Franks received the news he’s likely played his last test match in the black jersey because the game required a more mobile prop.

Imagine being laid off from your job because you’re too old, too slow, too immobile, or out of shape.

If that’s not harsh enough, what if your boss then tells the whole world why you’re not good enough?

That’s the hell test centurion Owen Franks has been through this week.


Between the Posts looks at why Owen Franks won’t be on the plane to Japan, and finds holes to poke in Steve Hansen’s strong team.

“Ruthless Steve Hansen leaves big names at home” screamed the headline in Ireland’s Independent as it surmised Franks had paid the price for “a poor showing” in Super Rugby.

* Franks breaks silence on axing
* Classy Steve Hansen at his best
* The All Blacks’ World Cup squad
* Winners and losers in ABs squad
* RWC match schedule and pools
* How to watch Rugby World Cup

Imagine wanting to be there for your mates, but knowing you’re struggling and fearing you could let them and the black jersey down. What do you do? That’s the hell loose forward Liam Squire has been in during his winter of discontent.

Ngani Laumape and Jackson Hemopo too have felt the sting of public rejection this week, a mental torment clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo puts up there with injury and retirement.

Laumape found no space in a crowded midfield, while Hemopo missed when a gamble was taken on injured stalwart Brodie Retallick.

It’s the reality of being an All Black or rather, being a dropped All Black.

A year ago we saw prop Karl Tu’inukuafe cry tears of pride and joy as he lined up for the national anthem for his test debut at Eden Park.On Wednesday, Tu’inukuafe was not named in Steve Hansen’s 31-man squad to defend the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan next month. We did not see his reaction to that painful news.

Nimmo, a specialist in high performance sports, has seen sports stars burdened with mental heath issues such as depression, mental fatigue (burnout) and anxieties (related to performance, failure, rejection).

The pain of non selection was doubled for players during a World Cup year, she said.

“Being dropped always hurts. But when it’s a double hit – missing your sport’s pinnacle event and the end of your career – it can be particularly tough. The psychological impact ultimately depends on your personal resilience, being able to take perspective over your career as a whole and how you frame your life going forward.”

The brutal world of sport has it that when you lose your form or your bur

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