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.
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.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 28, 2019
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:
— Edwin (@EdwinAhabwe) August 28, 2019
No Laumape, WOW. Best 12 in the country and a total game buster and they pick old and injured players. Every World Cup there is a fail pick.
— All Blacks 3????? (@GunSlin14083067) August 28, 2019
I'm gutted for Ngani Laumape that he didn't make the ABs squad to Japan. One of the stand out players of the 2019 Super Rugby season. Someone who conjures up stellar performances one after another. Damn.
— Dan Moeava (@DanMoeava) August 28, 2019
Ryan Crotty & Sonny-Bill over Laumape? The selectors have lost it.
— Aizeiah Parkinson (@aizeiah_) August 28, 2019
— VeeJ (@veej187) August 28, 2019
Feel for Ngani Laumape. He was in-form and offered more thrust in the midfield. But Crotty's experience and versatility gave him the nod. Ngani should learn from Ma'a Nonu who missed World Cup selection in 2007, changed his game & became a legend. #RWC2019 #AllBlacks
— Peter Rees (@peter_rees74) August 28, 2019
Laumape missing out on the All Blacks #RWC2019 has a familiar tone when Nonu missed selection to 2007 RWC. A pitty as other international teams would take Laumape in a heart beat.
— Alando Soakai (@alandosoakai) August 28, 2019
@NLaumape really deserved this!! Disappointing not to see his name there!
— Stephan (@mossie90) August 28, 2019
dropping laumape and bringing the "injury favourite" Ryan crotty is a one tough call. no laumape no party. https://t.co/LInK16Jsv1
— Ariff Haiqal (@NotoriousSAC) August 28, 2019
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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