Brodie Retallick Rugby World Cup: Steve Hansen’s selection dilemmas ahead of All Blacks team naming

Brodie Retallick Rugby World Cup: Steve Hansen’s selection dilemmas ahead of All Blacks team naming

Brodie Retallick These constituents are helpful!

D-Day is approaching for Steve Hansen and the All Blacks selectors for the announcement of their World Cup squad – and there are a few interesting selection dilemmas for them to mull over.

After the All Blacks’ 36-0 thrashing of the Wallabies, Hansen admitted there were a few areas in the squad that required robust discussion before the official announcement of the 31-man team on Wednesday next week.

“By and large, even Joe Public could pick pretty much the large majority of the team because it’s obvious who should be in,” he said after his side retained the Bledisloe Cup for yet another year. “When it comes down to the last six or seven players and the combinations you want, that’s when you get the robust discussions.”

The 34 players who were in the Bledisloe Cup squad will be the front runners to battle it out for the final 31 places, but there are a few outsiders, one in particular, who could make Hansen pause as well.

“We’ve baked a lot of the cake, now it’s about getting it out of the oven and putting a bit of icing on it.”

Here are some of those big calls that Hansen and the selectors will have to make:

Brodie Retallick Tighthead prop

After dropping powerful prop and fan favourite Karl Tu’inukuafe from the team to face Australia, Hansen said “at the World Cup we can only take five [props] so we’ve still got some culling to do”.

And as it stands, one of Nepo Laulala, Owen Franks, Angus Ta’avao, Ofa Tuungafasi, Joe Moody or Atu Moli will miss ou

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