All Blacks aim to move on from RWC win
Putting a line under the World Cup triumph and moving forward will be one of the aims of the All Blacks coaching team as they have their first training camp of 2012.
A wider training group of 35 met in Auckland on Sunday for the first time to prepare firstly for a three-Test series against Ireland in June and in the longer term for the four-nation Rugby Championship later this winter.
Eighteen of the group played a part in the victorious World Cup campaign of 2011 but coach Steve Hansen, an assistant coach in that triumph and now the head coach, says that needs to be put behind them.
“We’ve won the World Cup, that’s great, we’ll never forget it, but we need to put a full stop on that and reset the goals, and we have to do that pretty smartly,” Hansen said.
“There is an expectation, and rightly so, from everyone in the country that we’ll win Test matches. That’s what’s made the All Blacks great over the years.”
The squad named also features a number of players who haven’t played for the All Blacks, including six from last year’s world champion under-20 team, some of whom will hope to force their way into the squad of 30 for the Ireland Tests.
“There’s a couple of people there that clearly are going to be All Blacks in the future if they continue to develop in the way we believe they will, and it’s a nice opportunity to bring them into the camp,” Hansen said.
The team has already had a couple of injuries, with last year’s World Cup winning wingers Cory Jane and Richard Kahui forced out of the side.
Zac Guildford has been called in to replace Kahui, while a second back – possibly a utility – is expected to be named on Monday.
The first camp ends in Auckland on Tuesday, and a second camp is being held in Wellington from May 27-29. The squad for the Ireland series is named on June 3.© AAP 2013
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