Cape Town - Deliverance day for All Blacks' 2019 Rugby World Cup aspirations will be on Wednesday, August 28.
According to the All Blacks' official website, that's when the 31-man World Cup squad will be announced.
Coach Steve Hansen said Saturday's Bledisloe Cup-winning 36-0 win over Australia had in some ways, made the selection easier.
"Some people really put their hand up last night and where we had
question marks you no longer have question marks and in other ways it
makes it a bit tougher too.
"Every time you name the team
somebody misses out and it's the end of their dream and this is a pretty
big one going to the World Cup," he said.
Tighthead prop and the
midfield had been competitive positions and they had to consider where
they take an extra blindside flank or an extra lock?
in mind Hansen was pleased with the way Patrick Tuipulotu stood up in
the absence of locks Brodie Retallick (injury) and Scott Barrett
(suspension). But at the same time he revealed they had changed lock
Tuipulotu's energy intake ahead of the game because they knew he was fit
but he had been running out of energy pretty early in games and last
night he went deep into the game and played well.
Richie Mo'unga had suffered an AC injury that would be sore for a couple
of weeks but was unlikely to keep him from playing longer than that.
Centre Jack Goodhue was running again and was likely to be ready for the
Tonga game while centre Ryan Crotty would play a game
before the Tongan game.
Hansen said lock Brodie Retallick was
making progress with his shoulder injury, he was getting more movement
in it but it was one of those injuries where they would just have to
wait and see.
He said they would like to have most of their front line players
get some game time in the Tongan game in Hamilton on September 7
otherwise it was too long a break before they played South Africa.
Saturday's win had been massive, he said.
externally was starting to get a bit shaky and starting to question if
the coaches still had it, if the players still had it and to come out
and show with real intent, I thought (Kieran Read) Reado was massive
last night and he answered a lot of questions for a lot of people
externally so the external group of our nation can now breathe slightly
easier and we can all carry on working away to what we're trying to work
Hansen said he understood the public's concern. It was because they cared.
externally have less of an idea of what it really takes to build your
team and momentum and they expect you to start the season bang like that
and when you compare the lead in time with Super Rugby they get three
months to get ready for the first game.
"So five days is not
enough time but it just takes time and we chose to even limit that time
by splitting the squad over the first two games and as a result we were a
bit scratchy to start but we're starting to get there.
The public scrutiny was a constant and it kept the All Blacks honest.
The day that New Zealand Rugby didn't have external scrutiny like
it did then the game would be where it didn't want to be because people
care and they had high expectations and those high expectations drove
the internal expectations in the team as well.
Wings George Bridge and Sevu Reece had performed well when given the chance.
saw lots of energy, we saw a lot of intent and (they were) great under
the high ball, great chasing kicks so it's a bit of pressure on the
other guys now to front up. There's an old, old saying, never give a
sucker an even break because he'll take it and now we've got some
genuine competition so it will be good to see how it unfolds."
relation to Wales moving ahead of the All Blacks in the world rankings
Hansen said he didn't understand how the rankings worked but with the
top sides in the northern hemisphere playing each other they got more
"We just need to get ourselves in the right frame of mind
to go to the World Cup and win that, and not be too worried about (the
rankings)," he said.
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus will finalise his 31-man World Cup squad on Monday, August 26 at 15:00.