Nucifora issues warning

Blues coach David Nucifora has warned Jonah Lomu and other Super 14 hopefuls they must get regular Air New Zealand Cup game time to have any hope of gaining a franchise place. [more]

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Blues coach David Nucifora has warned Jonah Lomu and other Super 14 hopefuls they must get regular Air New Zealand Cup game time to have any hope of gaining a franchise place.

Lomu has repeatedly stated his intent in claiming a place in 2007 as part of his goal of returning to the New Zealand team.

But the former All Black wing has not yet earned a regular place with Ranfurly Shield winners North Harbour, with Rudi Wulf and Viliami Waqaseduadua the preferred outside backs.

"The biggest issue is you have to be playing to get picked," Nucifora said.

"If you’re not playing, it makes it pretty tough."

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The Australian has plenty of options to choose from out wide, leaving the ex-Blues, Hurricanes and Chiefs star Lomu in a sizeable pack of back-three contenders.

Harbour team-mates Wulf, Waqaseduadua and Auckland trio David Smith, Brent Ward and Isa Nacewa are fighting for places alongside vice-captain and All Black Doug Howlett, a virtual certainty for selection.

Lomu’s prospects of a return to a Blues shirt look bleak as he has started only one Air New Zealand Cup match – against Manawatu three weeks ago.

His best chance could well be to hope for a draft selection from the competing franchises.

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