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'Might give him a cuddle' – Anton Lienert-Brown's plans for Ryan Crotty's birthday

With All Blacks second-five Ryan Crotty celebrating his birthday today, midfield partner Anton Lienert-Brown is yet to find the perfect gift for his teammate.

Largely hailed as the All Blacks' "unsung hero" for his hard work on both attack and defence, Crotty is playing in his first ever World Cup, unlucky to miss out in 2015 - stuck behind the likes of Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams.

Turning 31 today, Crotty's birthday hasn't seen too much fuss from his teammates, Lienert-Brown revealed when asked about any special plans.

"We all wished him happy birthday, that's about as far as it's gone," Lienert-Brown told media.

"[I] might give him a cuddle, something like that? Don't have dinner plans yet.

"He told me he's 25, is it 31 is it?"

All joking aside though, Lienert-Brown credited the work Crotty does, proving to be a role model for the younger members of the side.

"He's obviously a massive part of the All Blacks, especially for me and Jack [Goodhue].

"He sort of guides us in the right direction. [We're] hugely appreciative of what he's done for us."

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The All Blacks' second-five turns 31 today. Source: 1 NEWS