'Midfield has been the curse position this year': Can Tamanivalu channel beast mode Barbarians form into All Blacks?

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The All Blacks' injury woes in the midfield have opened up a window of opportunity for Taranaki centre Seta Tamanivalu, with the Fijian winger being recalled into the New Zealand squad.

Tamanivalu, 24, had a strong season this year in Super Rugby for the Chiefs but failed to fire when given the chance to play for the All Blacks during the Welsh series in June.

Taranaki's Seta Tamanivalu

Source: Photosport

George Moala and Ryan Crotty's All Blacks season has been cut short with Moala suffering an elbow injury and Crotty straining his hamstring during their side's 40-29 loss against Ireland yesterday in Chicago.

With both Hansen and Schmidt’s contracts expiring after the 2019 World Cup, has the All Blacks coach already found his replacement?
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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was pleased with Tamanivalu's performance against the Springboks in yesterday's match for the Barabarians.

"Seta is going to come in. He's already over with the Baabaas so he is going to meet us in London," said Hansen at today's press conference.

The All Blacks coach was pretty clear who the chief culprit was for the All Blacks' blundering first half lineout.
Source: 1 NEWS

"It was a great opportunity (playing for Barbarians) he has been in and out of the team this year.

"For a lot of people coming into the team is quite overwhelming because there is a lot of pressure."

The All Blacks coach is confident that Tamanivalu's involvement during the Welsh June Test series, will make him hungrier this time round to cement a permanent spot in the team.

"Once you have been in a couple of times it gets a bit easier, looking forward to seeing how he goes."

Tamanivalu has played three games for the All Blacks and was pushed out of selection, with his Chiefs teammate Anton Lienert-Brown bursting onto the scene and having strong performances during the Rugby Championship campaign for New Zealand.

"Midfield has been the curse position this year we've lost a few of them and a few guys retiring," Hansen said.

"Whilst it is a bit of a hindrance it is also a great opportunity to keep developing our depth that we probably wouldn't be doing if we dint have any injuries.

"We have looked at as a positive and he (Tamanivalu) is going to get an opportunity."

Tamanivalu will be plying his trade down South next year, moving to the Crusaders for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

He was named as the 2014 ITM Cup Player of the Year, having a hand in guiding Taranaki to their first National Provincial Championship win in the premiership competition.

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