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Anton Lienert-Brown on All Blacks' midfield battle: 'Can't let an opportunity slip'

All Blacks centre Anton Lienert-Brown has opened up about the current midfield logjam, looking to cement his place for this year's World Cup in Japan.

With the All Blacks to take just 31 players to the World Cup, it is expected that there will be room for just four midfielders in Steve Hansen's plans.

However, with Lienert-Brown joined in form by the likes of Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Sonny Bill Williams and Braydon Ennor, at least one world class player won't be on the plane to Japan.

With Williams and Crotty injured and Goodhue rested for the first Test of the Rugby Championship against Argentina, Lienert-Brown appears in pole position for the first chance to impress selectors, coming off an impressive Super Rugby campaign with the Chiefs.

"Over the last couple of years, I've been trying to work on a process," Lienert-Brown began.

"I guess, through trial and error, I've found out what works for me. I think the main thing is [that] I'm just really enjoying my footy at the moment, not overthinking, just going out and loving the game."

Meanwhile, with a surplus of quality in midfield around him, Lienert-Brown knows he has to perform to stay in the All Blacks' plans.

"It keeps you on your toes, all those boys are performing really well. You can't let your opportunity slip.

"I like to ply myself on being able to play 12 and 13 at a high standard, 12 is just a position that worked out for me in Super [Rugby], but I might be able to play more 13 here. I'm not sure what the selectors want to do."

Lienert-Brown and the All Blacks leave for Argentina tomorrow, before their Rugby Championship opener against Los Pumas next week.

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No fewer than six players are contenders for the 12 and 13 jerseys this year. Source: 1 NEWS


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