Steve Hansen Issues Ultimatum To All Blacks Trio As Contracts Set To Expire
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All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has given Israel Dagg, Ben Smith and Aaron Cruden an ultimatum.
They New Zealand coach has stated if they feel their time in an All Blacks jersey is up, then they should leave when their contracts expire next year.
A host of clubs have been linked with the star trio with Leinster said to have held talks with Dagg while Cruden has been linked several times with a big money move to Top 14 side Montpellier.
Hansen however, feels all three could have a part to play by the time the next World Cup comes around in Japan, in 2019.
“We don’t want anyone who is a vital ingredient to the team to leave and he [Dagg] is a pretty vital ingredient we think,” Hansen told the New Zealand Herald
“He missed the last World Cup. Is it certain he’s going to go through to the next one? Well, if he keeps playing like he is now, he’s been told that he will because you would be foolish to leave him out given the form he is in.
“I have said to him [Dagg] is that if you think your time in the jersey is done then you probably should go. But I don’t think his story is finished yet personally. So that is what he has got to work out and it is the same for Crudes [Aaron Cruden] and with Bender [Ben Smith]. All three of them have to work out do I think my story has finished?
“From my point of view all three of them have still got a lot deliver and give to this team and at this point I would see all three of them going to the World Cup.”
Will the trio stick around? Should they take up offers abroad they will no doubt be missed, regardless of the depth that Steve Hansen has.