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'Two or three' potential bolters

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'Two or three' mystery players on Steve Hansen's World Cup radar

Any chance of the All Blacks selecting a World Cup bolter appear to alive and well as head coach Steve Hansen has admitted that “two or three” players have caught his eye during Super Rugby this year.

Speaking on Radio Sport, Hansen said that a few “young” players have impressed him as preparations continue for the World Cup in five months’ time.

“I’m not going to mention names and put pressure on them but there have certainly been some people out there,” Hansen said.

“[They] have also been quite obvious to most people.

“It’s been good to see and now that we’re getting to the business part of the season it’ll be interesting to see if they can maintain that high level of performance that we’ve been getting from them.”

Despite the ambiguity surrounding Hansen’s comments, plenty of previously unheralded players have made a name for themselves in this year’s edition of Super Rugby.

21-year-old Crusaders fullback Will Jordan unanimously crowned Rookie of the Year in RugbyPass‘ annual Super Rugby mid-season awards last week, while plenty has been made of Blues pair Tom Robinson and Ma’a Nonu.

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RugbyPass' midseason Super Rugby awards, @willjordan_ was voted unanimously as Rookie of the Year. @superrugby #superrugby #crusaders #rugby #nzrugby #allblacks #rugbygram

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Robinson and Nonu’s Super Rugby teammate and uncapped No. 8 Akira Ioane was also called up to the All Blacks’ ‘foundation day’ camp in Wellington earlier this month.

Hansen went on to say that the performances of many individuals has left him and his fellow All Blacks selectors, Ian Foster and Grant Fox, with no shortage of options when it comes to picking a squad later this year.

“There are a few guys that are established All Blacks that are starting to come into some good form and a lot of young guys starting to put there hands up,” he said.

“When the time comes to pick the side we’ll have plenty of candidates.

“Everyone is a chance, we’ll say no to nobody.”

2019 Rugby World Cup City Guide – Kamaishi:

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'Two or three' mystery players on Steve Hansen's World Cup radar