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All Blacks delay naming their team for Wallabies




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The All Blacks have delayed naming their team to face the Wallabies in their final TriNations match in Wellington which suggests that changes will be made and new combinations could be named.

So far All Black selectors have resisted temptation to wield the axe so far this season but assistant coach Wayne Smith said changes could now be made with the honour of avoiding finishing bottom of the standings at stake.

“I don’t want to say there’s any element of panic but it’s the reality that we’ve got a big test on the weekend and we’ve got to pick the right people to go out there and do it,” Smith told Reuters on Tuesday.

“We just want to make sure that everyone’s earning the jersey, earning the right to be out there and is able to execute more accurately than we’ve done.”

The All Blacks were told on Tuesday that changes were likely during a grueling two-hour training session and none of the players know what the starting line up will be.

“There’s a certain point when you’ve got to make some tough decisions and that’s where we’re at,” Smith said.

“Just by not naming the team and changing them around at training, that puts them on notice.”

The team was supposed to be named on Tuesday but will now be announced on Wednesday which will give the players a sleepless night. Even senior players were warned their places were in jeopardy.

“Some players here have had a lot of opportunity this year,” Smith said.

“But some things never change, it’s not how many games you have in the jersey, it’s what you do in it that counts.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we’re raising the standards and if that means changes in personnel, then that’s what we’ll do.”

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