Veteran scrumhalf Piri Weepu may have been dumped from the All Black squad for the Rugby Championship, but the No.9 is adamant he still has the desire and ability to play Test matches for his country.
Weepu, whose 71 Tests make him New Zealand's second-most experienced scrumhalf behind Justin Marshall, has been forced to make way for newcomer TJ Perenara for the series involving South Africa, Australia and Argentina.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said it was a tough call on Weepu, but it was time to blood the 21-year-old Hurricanes No.9 Perenara.
Weepu was adamant the dream to play for the All Blacks is still afloat.
"The fire still burns to be a part of that All Black environment," he said.
"They're all great, talented halfbacks," he said of those selected ahead of him - Aaron Smith (Highlanders), TJ Perenara (Hurricanes) and Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs).
"I guess they are the future in the [All Black No.9] jersey and they'll be pushing each other for that position," Weepu added.
Source: 3 News