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Australia ‘stealing’ NZ players

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WELLINGTON — All Blacks rugby coach Steve Hansen has attacked Australian rugby for “stealing” New Zealand (NZ) players and says the Bledisloe Cup rival should improve depth by developing its own talent.

Hansen spoke after his team’s 18-18 draw with the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday in which New Zealand-born centre Mike Harris kicked five penalties for Australia.

Hansen says he doesn’t begrudge Harris’ decision to sign for Queensland when he was rejected by New Zealand Super 15 franchises, or to later play for Australia.

But he says: “What I find frustrating is that Australia is trying to build their game and put more franchises in place, but all they are doing is putting franchises in place and stealing our players. They should get their own house in order and develop their own.” — Reuters

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