By NZ Herald

A former Wallaby has declared himself “delighted” with aspects of the record Bledisloe Cup defeat in Sydney.

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Rod Kafer – long regarded as one of the key thinkers in Aussie rugby – wants the Wallabies to only pick players under the age of 24, a la the development system adopted by France.

And Kafer isn’t backing down after the 43-5 humiliation, saying from the commentary box: “I’m pretty happy not with the loss, but with us giving the opportunity to give these young players a go. It’s critical.”

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All Blacks speak to media post-match

“The first thing about young sides is that you’ve got to give them time and I’m delighted to see the selectors have decided to give these players a go,” the former Wallaby and Brumbies inside back said.

“You’ve got to start somewhere, we’ve all been there, young men in games of rugby that are too big for you, and you learn a lot.

“We’ve got to get them in, you’ve got to give them a chance, you’ve to let them lose, they’ve got to learn, because we know they’ll get better.”

Kafer believed the Wallaby youngsters need to “understand what it’s like to lose when you don’t cherish possession.”

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“Test matches aren’t won with pop passes and flicks out of contact, they’re won with pressure, momentum, consistency, they’ll learn in time.”

Rugby.com.au reported that two time World Cup winner Phil Kearns wasn’t “delighted” but did say: “No, not time to panic.

“It’s a real learning time. They’ll see New Zealand lift this Bledisloe Cup…guys like Harry Wilson and Noah Lolesio and Irae Simone and Jordan Petaia and Filipo Daugunu, they’ll use that down the track.”

And another leading Wallaby Matt Giteau understood the public’s frustration but tweeted that the current team didn’t deserve the Bledisloe Cup baggage.

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“These kids will only grow from this,” he said.

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and was republished with permission.

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