Eager not to disappoint anyone, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has named every professional player from the five New Zealand Super Rugby franchise in his 2015 All Blacks squad.
“We always say that we’ve got an incredible depth of talent in New Zealand rugby, so I thought what better way to showcase that than to make them all All Blacks this year,” said Steve Hansen at the squad naming on Sunday afternoon.
“Having some 150 players to pick from for each game means that we’ve always got options,” continued Hansen, “and that nobody has to miss out. There’s nothing worse than when I go into a local pub and I get abused for not picking some powder puff Auckland front rower, so this way I get to enjoy a pint anywhere in the country, while all the armchair experts can sit there smugly thinking they made the right call.”
Hansen dismissed concerns that by naming so many new All Blacks he was devaluing the black jersey.
“AIG paid $80m to feature on the jersey, so it’s valued pretty highly and the more players we have wearing stuff with their gear on it, the more value they perceive in their sponsorship. Hell, maybe we can charge them even more to have their logo on it next time.”