Hurricanes loose forward Vaea Fifita has opened up about his surprise omission from Steve Hansen's Rugby Championship squad, perplexed by his coach's reasoning.
Fifita, 26, was a notable omission from Hansen's side to face Australia, Argentina and South Africa, returning to play for Wellington in the Mitre 10 Cup instead.
Hansen himself gave the reasoning that he wasn't going to pick Fifita as a loose forward, having played the past Super Rugby season as a lock.
However, Hansen's rationale is contradicted by the selection of Highlanders forward Jackson Hemopo, who fits into the exact same category.
Speaking to Stuff, Fifita said he was confused by his coach's reasoning for his exclusion.
"He told me that. But when I saw he got interviewed and he said he signed Hemopo to six, not lock, I kind of feel like he's not telling me the truth," Fifita said.
Fifita also said that he prefers his role at number six, as opposed to in the second row.
"I like six because I can use my athleticism to do what I can do on the outside, rather than just stay tight and do the hard work like running into a brick wall and getting your body tired."
Fifita will get the chance to prove his worth as a blindside flanker, certain to line up for Wellington against Otago in this weekend's Mitre 10 Cup opener.