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'That's called Australia pinching our players': All Blacks hit out at ARU after Harris seals draw

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Richard Knowler

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Contrasting reactions to the Bledisloe

Wallabies captain Nathan Sharpe and New Zealand coach Steve Hansen summarise the game.

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Steve Hansen hinted there will be no recriminations following the All Blacks' dud performance against the Wallabies.

But the All Blacks coach was not so charitable with the Australian Rugby Union who continue to recruit New Zealand players and struck the jackpot on Saturday night when ex-Kiwi Mike Harris kicked five penalties in the 18-all draw. Harris qualifies for the Wallabies due to an Australian grandmother.

Hansen wishes the Wallabies would blood more of their own players.

Former Auckland player Mike Harris scored 15 points for the Wallabies on Saturday night.

Former Auckland player Mike Harris scored 15 points for the Wallabies on Saturday night. Photo: Cameron Spencer

He is clearly annoyed by the Western Force recently signing ex-All Blacks halfback Alby Mathewson and Wellington's promising outside back Jason Woodward.

When asked if the New Zealand Rugby Union had a "system breakdown" because talented players such as Harris were playing in Australia, Hansen replied:

"That's called Australia pinching our players - it's not a system breakdown."

Burst of speed ... Pat McCabe eludes the New Zealand defence. Click for more photos

Wallabies hold the All Blacks

The Wallabies surprise the rugby fraternity by halting the rampaging All Blacks' tilt at 16 straight wins with a gritty 18-18 draw in Brisbane. Photo: Getty Images

While he said he did not begrudge Harris his decision to leave New Zealand to sign with the Queensland Reds, he was annoyed they continued to recruit Kiwi players instead of developing their own.

"I am pleased he [Harris] has achieved his dream ... what I find frustrating is that Australia is trying to build their game and put more franchises in place but all they are doing is putting franchises in place and stealing our players.

"They should get their own house in order and develop their own. There must be players there good enough.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo: Reuters

"Australia has been a breeding ground for gun players for centuries."

Hansen noted past Wallaby home-grown stars such as the famous Ella brothers and Michael Hawker had served their country well.

"It's just too easy to come [to New Zealand] and say 'Oh well, why don't you come over'."

Despite being unable to score a try against the injury-ravaged Aussies at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, Hansen hinted his 32-man squad to tour the northern hemisphere next month will be stacked with his current crop.

"It will be fair to say most of this squad will be going - if not all of them."

Hansen's refusal to wield the axe is confirmation the squad, which will be named next Monday, is largely set in stone.

Ali Williams, providing he can prove his fitness and represent Auckland in this weekend's NPC final against Canterbury in Christchurch, is guaranteed to tour as the fourth lock.

Hansen has spoken to Auckland coach Wayne Pivac who said Williams was confident the numbness in his back that prevented him playing the semifinal against Wellington would subside and allow him to book his ticket for the four-match tour.

Williams has not played for the All Blacks since their second test against Ireland in June; an operation corrected a knee complaint and Hansen remains keen to utilise his vast knowledge as a backup for Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano and Brodie Retallick.

Beauden Barrett is guaranteed to tour as the third first five-eighth and Hansen indicated Tawera Kerr-Barlow's hot performances for the Chiefs will mean Canterbury's Andy Ellis remains on the outer despite the Waikato halfback's fluctuating form in the NPC.

Kerr-Barlow will back up Aaron Smith and Piri Weepu and the third hooker is likely to be either Dan Coles or Hika Elliot.

Although Hansen mentioned he was impressed by the form of Canterbury outside back Johnny McNicholl and Auckland fullback Charles Piutau, he is unlikely to have room for them.

He has already introduced newcomers Sam Cane, Charlie Faumuina, Julian Savea, Aaron Smith, Romano and Retallick, as well as revived the aspirations of Tamati Ellison - enough new blood has been introduced this year.

Fairfax NZ News

201 comments

  • Oh and what about all the Fijians Samoans you "pinched"

    Commenter
    Joe Moer
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    October 22, 2012, 7:32AM
    • I think you may find they are all born in NZ.
      The biggest Polynesian community in the world - Auckland

      Commenter
      assie jim
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 7:51AM
    • Not true. While many current all blacks have islander heritage, (nearly) all the current crop were born in NZ.

      Commenter
      shevek
      Location
      bondi
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 8:01AM
    • @Joe

      Every single player and reserve in the squad saturday night was born in New Zealand. Australia hasn't been able to say that for...20 years.

      15-Israel Dagg - Marton, NZ
      14-Cory Jane - Lower Hutt, NZ
      13-Conrad Smith - Hawere, NZ
      12-Ma’a Nonu - Welington, NZ
      11-Hosea Gear - Gisbourne, NZ
      10-Daniel Carter - Canterbury, NZ
      9-Aaron Smith - Feilding, NZ
      8-Kieran Read - Papakura, NZ
      7-Richie McCaw (c) - North Otago, NZ
      6-Liam Messam - Blenheim, NZ
      5-Sam Whitelock - Palmeston North, NZ
      4-Brodie Retallick - Rangiara, NZ
      3-Charlie Faumuina - South Auckland, NZ
      2-Keven Mealamu - Waikato, NZ
      1-Tony Woodcock - Helensville, NZ

      Reserves

      16-Andrew Hore - Dunedin, NZ
      17-Owen Franks - Motueka, NZ
      18-Luke Romano - Nelson, NZ
      19-Victor Vito - Wellington, NZ
      20-Piri Weepu - Lower Hutt, NZ
      21-Aaron Cruden - Palmeston North, NZ
      22-Ben Smith - Dunedin, NZ

      It's called growing your own. Something Australia clearly can't be bothered with anymore.

      Recognise these guys? Quade Cooper (NZ), Will Genia (PNG), Mike Harris (NZ), Digby Ioane (NZ), Stephen Moore (Saudi Arabia), David Pocock (Zimbabwe), Radike Samo (Fiji), Sitaleki Timani (Tonga)......the list of playing and injured non-Aussies goes on and on.

      Commenter
      Oh please...
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 8:23AM
    • Indeed! Why didn't someone bring that up in the press conference?

      Don't you love how Kiwi's always feel like they are picked on by Oz and they play the victim card?

      Commenter
      WheninOz
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 8:34AM
    • I was going to say exactly the same thing! NZ is basically an Australian protectorate anyway so I don't see what the big deal is

      Commenter
      CSAllen
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 8:47AM
    • Spot the pakeha seems to be the new 'game' in NZ Rugby. Methinks Hansen is a whinger and Robbie Deans is getting under his skin. Dingo should stay as Wallaby coach whilst Hansen continues his navel gazing. Great result at Suncorp. Agree with Adam Frier on ABC News 24. Beale should be cemented as Aussie No 10 and Cooper can be sent back to Tokoroa. Would that keep Hansen happy??

      Commenter
      Grae Gafia
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 8:48AM
    • How about KNOWING YOUR FACTS before making a dumb comment Joe.

      How many of the current ABs were born outside NZ??? Let me enlighten you... one! Ben Franks - born in Melbourne and moved to NZ before he could walk.

      That's a little different to Mike Harris - born in NZ, raised in NZ, won a Junior World Cup wioth the Junior All Blacks!!! ... Then poached by Australia.

      Commenter
      Tim
      Location
      Auckland
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 8:59AM
    • "Pinching" - surely you jest, isn't Western Samoa the All Black's "B" team?

      Commenter
      Walkesby
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 9:00AM
    • An incredibly hypocritical case of the pot and kettle .. Wonder what the rugby authorities in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga etc have to say about it ...

      Commenter
      Waldothejuggler
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      October 22, 2012, 9:04AM

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