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Steve Hansen weighs in on All Blacks' third halfback battle between Weber, Tahuriorangi

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has spoken about the positional battle for the third halfback spot in his squad between Chiefs duo Brad Weber and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.

Debate about who takes the final spot has increased this season with Weber keeping a firm grip on the No.9 jersey at the Waikato franchise with his strong play and leadership, meaning Tahuriorangi has been restricted to less minutes off the bench.

At yesterday's All Blacks Foundation Day camp in Auckland, Hansen gave his view of the situation and said the main reason Weber was getting more playing time is because he was playing so well.

"He's leading well and Te Toiroa has come back from his off season probably not where he should have been and Brad has taken every opportunity he has got," Hansen said.

"So, does it concern me? Yeah, I would like him to get more minutes but Brad's playing really well too so that excites me. It's a double-edged sword."

Hansen's comments come after Chiefs coach Colin Cooper said last week Weber has to be in the discussion for an All Blacks recall.

"I think he certainly needs to be considered - he's in the top of his game," Cooper said.

"He's got a lot of experience at this level too so he certainly needs to be looked at."

Weber has played 17 minutes for the All Blacks in his entire career, coming off the bench to replace Andy Ellis when they played Samoa in 2015. It remains his only Test cap.

Tahuriorangi on the other hand earned three caps in his rookie season last year. In his second Test, he started in the No.9 jersey against Japan and went on to score his first international try in the match.

 

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    Colin Cooper has the current third-choice - Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi - at his disposal but values Weber's current contribution. Source: 1 NEWS


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