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AB fans query Laumape exclusion


All Blacks fans get frank and question why Ngani Laumape has been excluded

Steve Hansen’s decision to leave Ngani Laumape out of his New Zealand World Cup squad has proven to be the most contentious decision by some way. 

The Hurricanes centre failed to make the four-man midfield chosen by Hansen, which includes two-time World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown. 

Despite 108-cap veteran Owen Franks also missing out on the squad, the reaction to Laumape’s omission has clearly caused the biggest stir on social media. Hansen has opted for experience with both Williams and Crotty, despite the two of them having injury problems this year. 

Williams only managed a handful of games for the Blues in Super Rugby while Crotty has not played for two months with a hand injury, although he is set to return this weekend. 

There is no denying that on their day the two of them are world-class talents, but their form this season has been matched – if not bettered – by Laumape. 

The 26-year-old had a sensational season in Wellington, finishing the season second top try-scorer with 13. Very few defences could handle his power, and that is why so many fans are shocked that he has missed out. 

Despite earning 15 caps for the All Blacks, Hansen has never seemed to fully trust Laumape, meaning he has never been able to string together a run of games for his country. 

But had Williams or Crotty missed out, there would have likely been as many people that were surprised by their omission, as is the nature of the All Blacks selection. 

Unfortunately, Laumape is the unlucky player on this occasion, although at the age of 26 he has more World Cups to come. This is what has been said: 

One interesting comparison that some fans have made is between Laumape and Ma’a Nonu in 2007. Both players are similar in physique and style and, like Laumape, Nonu missed out on selection for the 2007 World Cup. 

However, he returned and remodelled himself, particularly improving his handling, and went on to win two World Cups and 103 caps. 

One criticism that Laumape has received in the past has been about his distribution, but he has the opportunity to improve, as did Nonu, and come back stronger. 

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All Blacks fans get frank and question why Ngani Laumape has been excluded
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