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'His work rate isn't high enough' - Buck Shelford's harsh words for 'showpony' Akira Ioane

Blues and Auckland flanker Akira Ioane needs to do his talking on the pitch if he's going to become a regular for the All Blacks, according to the legendary Wayne 'Buck Shelford'.

Despite strong form for both the Blues and Auckland, 23-year old Ioane has been a consistent omission from Steve Hansen's All Blacks sides, with the likes of Luke Whitelock chosen ahead of him as back up to Kieran Read.

However, despite this, Ioane is taking a relaxed approach to his future international career, saying that he's confident his time will come.

Speaking to Stuff, Shelford, regarded as one of the greatest All Blacks loose forwards of all time, weighed in on Ioane's future in the black jersey.

The two brothers have had contrasting rugby careers so far. Source: Marae

"Akira is definitely a No 8, without a doubt," he said.

"But I agree with what the selectors say, his work-rate isn't high enough at the moment.

"He's got to be more of a workhorse than a showpony. He tends to hang off a lot and not do a lot of work."

Ioane was a pivotal figure for Auckland in their victorious provincial season, helping his side to a tense extra-time win over Canterbury to seal the title.

Despite strong performances for Auckland and the Blues, Ioane is yet to make his All Blacks debut. Source: Marae


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