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'Not the game for you' - Steve Hansen's words to bench-ridden Josh Ioane

Josh Ioane's All Blacks debut will come eventually, coach Steve Hansen says - the rookie first five was the only debutant not to feature in this morning's 20-16 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires.

With Richie Mo'unga left at home along with most of the Super Rugby champion Crusaders, Ioane appeared certain to make his Test debut against the Pumas, however was left on the bench as Beauden Barrett and Ben Smith both played the whole 80 minutes.

To make matters worse, 23-year old Ioane had to watch as Braydon Ennor, Luke Jacobson, Atu Moli and Sevu Reece all earned their first Test caps.

Speaking to media after the victory, Hansen held his hands up over Ioane's lack of action, saying that the match situation wasn't right to introduce the youngster.

"As I said to him afterwards, it's not the game for you to be thrown into the deep end," Hansen said.

"The process with him is that it's going to take a little bit of time.

"We think he's a quality player, but sometimes if you chuck them in and things go wrong you can break them. So we weren't prepared to take that risk."

Ioane will now likely drop out of the All Blacks' playing 23, with Richie Mo'unga likely to be available for next weekend's clash with South Africa in Wellington.
 

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The young first-five was a surprise selection, but has already caught the eye of veteran Ben Smith. Source: 1 NEWS


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