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Thread: Exodus of young players 'disappointing'

  1. #1
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    Exodus of young players 'disappointing'

    Exodus of young players 'disappointing'

    By Didier Lauras
    September 20, 2007


    THE exodus of young All Blacks players to foreign clubs is "disappointing", according to Sir Brian Lochore, one of New Zealand rugby union's selectors.

    Lochore is one of the doyens of the All Blacks game after having won 25 caps, 18 as captain - with only three losses, before becoming a World Cup-winning coach in 1987 and manager for the ill-fated 1995 campaign.

    Lochore said that while he did not mind players heading towards the end of their career going overseas to earn a tidy sum before retirement, the exodus of younger players did vex him.

    "I'm disappointed that young players are doing this," the former lock and No.8 said.

    "It's disappointing when young people put money before being able to play for their country for a reasonable amount of time.

    "I've no problem with older players at the end of their international careers deciding to accept what I see as a 'super-annuation'.

    "They've delivered a lot to their country and they want some icing on the cake before they retire, I say good luck to them."

    Seven of the current 30-strong All Blacks squad will leave for European clubs after the World Cup's end, while another handful of fringe players overlooked for the tournament have also sought their fortunes elsewhere.

    World Cup players Carl Hayman (Newcastle/ENG), Doug Howlett (Munster/IRL), Chris Jack (Saracens/ENG), Byron Kelleher (Toulouse/FRA), Aaron Mauger (Leicester/ENG), Anton Oliver (Toulon/FRA) and Luke McAlister (Sale/ENG) have all signed lucrative contracts overseas.

    While it can be argued that Kelleher and Oliver are nearing the end of their careers, the others are in the form of their lives.

    The All Blacks face, if not a crisis, then at least a mild drama in discovering some more quality centres with the departure of midfield generals McAlister and Mauger, aged 24 and 26, to Sale and Leicester respectively.

    In a massive boost for the All Blacks, captain Richie McCaw allayed fears that he too was moving abroad by confirming on Tuesday he would be playing in New Zealand next season.

    Lochore added that money could endanger traditional rugby values.

    "The good thing is players are compensated for the efforts and the time they spent in the game.

    "Money can do that," he said. "I hope it does not but you always have individuals that step outside what we see as the rugby values.

    "We have to be very careful that individuals don't become bigger than the game," he said, adding that that was not happenning "too much".

    "I'm not saying individual players should not become big. They are professionals and they will find their own level."

    Lochore, 67 but still an imposing figure, said his best rugby memory was the day he was first chosen to wear the black jersey.

    "You always remember the first day you're selected to be an All Black," he said. "That never leaves you. Then you quickly realise that once you're an All Black, you got to work like hell to be a good All Black.

    "My great memory was to play France in 1967. We had a very good team and France had a very good team too, we had a wonderful game, very exhausting but we played well and won."

    AAP

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    As long as we all realise Kelleher is a knob

    Lots of players coming through, including a young Magpie bloke who scored a beauty against Waikato this afternoon.

    Some of the players going to Europe would not have made the MiBs next year to be honest, worry is the young guys heading overseas. Some of them will end up playing Internationals for various second tier countries.

    Can I mention the "poaching" word

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    So long as we can mention the "spin" and "choke" words as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs
    So long as we can mention the "spin" and "choke" words as well
    I don't mind the "choke" word, instant translation is the ABs lost the matches, they weren't beaten by superior teams on the day

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