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Efforts Being Made To Get All Blacks Into Wellington Team

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Efforts Being Made To Get All Blacks Into Wellington Team

Auckland, Aug 12 NZPA - All Blacks management have stepped in to try to get Wellington's All Blacks into that province's Air NZ Cup rugby team this weekend.

Wellington coach Jamie Joseph has declined to select All Blacks Cory Jane, Piri Weepu and Neemia Tialata despite their availability for Saturday's game against Bay of Plenty, saying their sporadic return between test matches is disruptive to the team.

They are instead set to play for Wellington B against Horowhenua-Kapiti at Waikanae on Saturday.

Number eight Rodney So'oialo is the only international expected to play for Wellington in Rotorua as the team have loose forward injury issues.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry would not go into details when questioned by media today but did indicate efforts were being made to get Jane, Weepu and Tialata into the Rotorua match.

"We're trying to deal with that through the appropriate channels, and the appropriate channels are probably not through the media," Henry said after an All Blacks training run in west Auckland today.

When pressed further Henry, would not add any more details.

"I guess you've got to watch this space... we're working through the appropriate channels, and hopefully we'll get a positive result."

Jane was disillusioned after missing last week's match against Hawke's Bay as well when made available by the All Blacks and this morning said he would seek to be loaned to another Air NZ Cup team.

"I'd prefer to stay in Wellington but if I didn't have the Wellington Bs or anything to play for, then we all talked about being loaned to somewhere to get some game time," he told Radio Sport.

"We've got a game this week for the Bs, but the boys are still thinking about that (being loaned)."

Jane was not required off the reserve bench in either of the Tri-Nations losses to the Springboks so he has not played since the defeat of Australia on July 18.

Wellington Rugby Union chief executive Greg Peters understood Jane's anxiety but stood behind Joseph's policy. "We fully support what Jamie's trying to do here," Peters said. "We're trying to prepare a team to retain the Ranfurly Shield in Wellington, which is a very important goal for us this year."

Peters said the unwanted All Blacks had voiced concern after hearing of their fate.

He has held discussions with New Zealand Rugby Union officials, who were not completely onside with Wellington's stance.

"They might be disappointed by it and they'd like to see these guys on the track but they fully understand the rationale behind the decision.

"We've facilitated some rugby for these guys."

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