28 Oct 2016

'Stop whining' All Blacks coach tells provinces

3:05 pm on 28 October 2016

The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has told provincial unions upset about not having access to fringe All Blacks to stop whining.

The Canterbury lock Scott Barrett and Otago hooker Liam Coltman can't play in provincial finals this weekend as they're in the All Blacks squad as injury cover, with the side flying out to Chicago tonight for next weekend's test against Ireland.

Steve Hansen and Kieran Read celebrate the All Blacks' win over the Wallabies.

Hansen - "we can't do everything for everyone". Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coltman who started the season as Otago's captain has now been on the road with the All Blacks for the past two months but hasn't played a test and is the side's third choice hooker.

Otago coach Corey Brown has expressed his disappointment at Coltman's unavailability for their Championship final against North Harbour.

Hansen says the provincial unions have known about the situation from the outset.

"If we lose a hooker it's extremely difficult to prepare for a test (if you don't have) your third hooker their preparing from the get go it just wouldn't work.

"Unfortunately we play extra test matches every year to make some money which goes back to the P U's (provincial unions) ...we told the PU's what the story was right from the outset - if (a player) gets selected they've got to come. So there's not point whining about it...when you're in the final..we simply can't do everything for everyone," said Hansen.

Liam Coltman...Otago were keen for him to play in the Championship final against North Harbour.

Liam Coltman...Otago were keen for him to play in the Championship final against North Harbour. Photo: Photosport

Locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock won't be leaving with the side.

Retallick will definintely miss the first test against Ireland in Chicago because of concussion.

Whitelock is out for three to six weeks after suffeirng an ankle injury in the final Bledisloe Cup test of the year in Auckland last weekend.

That means Luke Romano and Patrick Tuipulotu, who have both made sporadic appearances this year, are expected to start with the uncapped Barrett, a on the reserves bench if the selectors want specialist lock backup in Chicago.

The other option could be to use the recalled loose forward Steven Luatua as locking cover.

The injuries also mean athletic Wellington lock come flanker Vaea Fifita will travel with the 36-man squad.

All Black Aaron Smith

All Black Aaron Smith Photo: PhotoSport

Hansen has also indicated that halfback Aaron Smith is likely to make his return to the side in the Chicago test.

Smith voluntarily stood himself down from last weekend's test at Eden Park following an incident with a woman in a disabled toilet at Christchurch Airport last month.

He was also given a formal warning by New Zealand Rugby.