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.
Laumape has been shafted to an embarrassing degree. Really feel for him. Missed out to guys who haven't played as well as him for literally years, not to mention had his level of fitness.
Not a great reflection on the idea of giving it your all in our Super/Provincial scene.
— James Rodbourn (@jrodbourn) August 28, 2019
No Laumape ?????
— Aparaajit Venkatakrishnan (@AparaajitV) August 28, 2019
Two random, unrelated thoughts…
1. I’m over this face aging app thing already.
2. How can Ngani Laumape not be in the World Cup squad?
— Jason Pine (@pineyzb) July 17, 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
Looking forward to the 2021 movie on how Ngani Laumape won the World Cup
— Sports Freak (@Sportsfreakconz) August 28, 2019
Shout out to Ngani Laumape. Come back to league uso!
— Stephen Gallagher (@SWTGallagher) August 28, 2019
Genuinely surprised to see Franks and Squire not included in the squad, and especially gutted for Laumape. Tough when theres 31 spots but expected the first two to be named.
— Kendall Forbes (@KendallForbes) August 28, 2019
The one surprise for me is the absence of Laumape.
— Beckie (@FitKiwi) August 28, 2019
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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