Steve Hansen has quashed the connection between his ongoing campaign for Government funding and the selection of an extremely big and financially-draining squad for this year's end-of-year tour.
Hansen announced a 51-man squad for the Japan and Northern Tour today and was challenged by one reporter why he picked such a large team when he's also asking for funding.
"Well firstly, we've asked the Government to be our sponsor and I don't think that's a silly thing," he said.
"We're one of the biggest brands this country's got and I think that it would be a smart play by any government to sponsor us and use us to sell their message."
The coach then replied to the challenge around his large squad.
"We and everybody in New Zealand that follows rugby has expectations that we continue to grow our talent, we continue to win Test matches and we've got some big Test matches to play.
"So we've decided to take every opportunity we can to get a group of players to London early so our preparation for that England Test is spot on.
"Secondly, it gives us the opportunity to keep developing players... these guys don't just develop sitting at home.
"Sometimes you have to spend money to make money."
The All Blacks coach first raised the issue earlier this year when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson were in the team's changing sheds after they secured the Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park.
"We and everybody in New Zealand