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ABs fans rally around Laumape

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All Blacks fans rally around excluded star Laumape as squad announcement incites disbelief

The All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad announcement included some high-profile omissions, leaving 108-test prop Owen Franks out.

The most emotional response from All Blacks fans, however, came from hearing that barnstorming Hurricane Ngani Laumape missed out in a crowded midfield that included Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Crotty has not played a test match this year since breaking his thumb during Super Rugby, while Williams returned to the All Blacks against the Springboks after months on the sidelines.

The decision to leave Laumape at home was labelled ‘surprising’, ’embarrassing’, and met with angry reactions on social media.

Steve Hansen extended his sympathies to those that missed out, reiterating that the decision to leave players out wasn’t based on ability only the limited number of spots available.

“As always, we’d also like to take a moment to respect the effort and disappointment of those who’ve missed out,” he said at Eden Park.

“It’s a tough time in anyone’s career.

“The selectors wanted to point out that it wasn’t a case of anyone not being good enough to be selected, but more the fact that we can only take 31, so there was always go to be some very talented athletes that would miss out.

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All Blacks fans rally around excluded star Laumape as squad announcement incites disbelief