Hansen hooked on shortcomings

Fri, 17 Jan 2014 09:15

All Black coach Steve Hansen has few shortcomings in his team, with finding a long-term replacement at hooker top of his priorities in 2014.

Hansen told the Devlin Radio Show hooker and centre remain the primary areas of concern coming into the year, with a lack of established options.

He said there's a bit of added concern at hooker, now they need to replace Andrew Hore.

"With Andrew retiring, while Keve [Kevin Mealamu] is older but still playing very very well.

"We'll need a third hooker...Super Rugby this year I think will throw up that person."

Hansen also said Charles Piutau is likely to get game time at centre in Super Rugby, and is one of a handful of young options looking to put their hand up.

The selectors are seeking a third player to be available for the No.13 jersey, along with Conrad and Ben Smith.

said Piutau is one of a few options to bolster the stocks at centre.

He said it sounds like Piutau will get some game time at centre with the Blues, and there's also Francis Saili and Ryan Crotty in the mix who are looking to establish themselves.

Hansen said new Chiefs signing Robbie Fruean also comes back into the reckoning after undergoing heart surgery last year.

Source: Newstalk ZB