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Smith voices concern over players
13 April 2008 15:06pm
New Zealand assistant coach Wayne Smith has urged the country's rugby union to try and put a stop to the growing number of players being lured overseas.
Smith also wants the NZRU to implement new initiatives to end the current policy which sees players who play overseas effectively banned from international representation.
He told The Herald on Sunday: "I think we need to ask what do we want the All Blacks to be? Longer-term, do we want them to be an iconic team?
"I don't want to dramatise things but I'm not sure this country understands how big this issue is and how complex it is.
"The players are being offered huge amounts of money to go overseas where they will be able to spend more time with their families and gain that overseas experience which is very different.
"We have to find strategies to help them to what they love. We are continuously working on solutions and a lot of the feedback we have had has been really positive."
Meanwhile, the All Blacks are close to confirming a tour match against Munster this autumn.
The proposed game at Thomond Park will mark the 30th anniversary of Munster's 12-0 win over the All Blacks.
NZRU boss Steve Tew said: "We are close to it, but until we have ink on paper we cannot say for sure that is going to happen."
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