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'It's not the people’s choice' – Richie Mo'unga happy to wait in Beauden Barrett's shadow

Crusaders and All Blacks first-five Richie Mo'unga insists he's prepared to wait for his chance at Test level, having taken out the prize for Super Rugby Player of the Year at last night's New Zealand Rugby awards.

Mo'unga, 24, capped off an incredible year with last night's prize, having both made his All Blacks debut after steering the Crusaders to a second-straight Super Rugby crown.

Asked for his thoughts on his place in the All Blacks' first-five pecking order alongside Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie, Mo'unga said that he has to earn his place, rather than just be gifted it due to his popularity among fans.

"It's not the people's choice award - who gets the 10 jumped," he began.

"The coaches are there to make those decisions, I'm just happy my name was chucked around a few times.

"It must mean I'm doing something well. I've just got to keep continuing to do that."

Mo'unga also says that he has to work to stay humble, as calls for him to out two-time World Rugby Player of the Year Barrett from the All Blacks' starting side.

"It's come with a lot of practice, it's not something you can get used to easily.

"Being a professional rugby player and playing footy, trying to block that stuff out is a part of your job.

"It's something I'm getting better at."

Calls for Mo'unga’s All Blacks inclusion have grown louder in 2018. Source: 1 NEWS


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