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Tamanivalu On All Blacks Radar

There may not have been a spot for him as a tour bolter, but Taranaki midfield sensation Seta Tamanivalu is on the All Blacks radar for next year. National coach
27 Oct 2014 11:52
Tamanivalu On All Blacks Radar

There may not have been a spot for him as a tour bolter, but Taranaki midfield sensation Seta Tamanivalu is on the All Blacks radar for next year.

National coach Steve Hansen has revealed more than a passing interest in the 22-year-old Fijian-born, St Kentigern College-educated centre.

Not that Hansen is short for midfield choice.

Even with veteran Ma’a Nonu recovering from a fractured forearm, Hansen has the ageless Conrad Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Ryan Cotty and now Sonny Bill Williams as options on the November tour.

“We’ve got some very good players who can play both second five and centre, and one or two on the fringes.

“There’s one guy in particular in the ITM Cup who’s been very, very good that we’re pretty keen to watch through Super Rugby.”

Just for the record, Hansen is asked if he’s talking about Tamanivalu. He nods: “He looks very, very good”.

The All Blacks coach also confirmed No 10 Dan Carter was unlikely to play the opening test in Chicago next Sunday.

“I’m not sure if he’s going to be right for the first one, but I’m not bothered too much by that.

“If he gets two games that would be great, if he gets two and a-half that would be great, because he can then practise what he’s seeing and working on during the week.”

The coach also expressed satisfaction with the levels hit by his skipper Richie McCaw this year.

“We’ve modified a couple of things he’s doing, trying to get him to just be little bit smarter round the breakdown, not try to win every one, but pick his moments. He’s an extraordinary player, and is not just a one-trick pony.

“There are lot of tricks to the bow and it’s pleasing to see him show us all those tricks.”

Hansen is looking at Sonny Bill Williams as a No 12 on tour, though he has a wider role in mind for him beyond that.

“Further down the track if he’s on the field, or we want to put him on the bench, he’s capable of filling two or three positions.

Hansen also confirmed Sunday News revelations that New Zealand Rugby would look to enforce a 12-week off-season for its All Blacks.

That would see them return to the field for the first or second round of Super Rugby.

“We’ve asked for no more than the standard Super Rugby player is getting, which is 12 weeks.”

eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 



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