Hansen unlikely to throw in Sopoaga

Date published: July 12 2015

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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen is hoping to give opportunities to most of his 41 players in their five matches heading into the World Cup.

Hansen is set to announce his 31-man squad for their Webb Ellis defence on August 30, with the preparations stepping up against Argentina this Friday.

And while he is expected to make plenty of changes from the side that beat Samoa, Hansen revealed that fans shouldn't expect debuts in key positions.

"It's a big ask to expect (Lima Sopoaga) to come in and take over a role like five-eighth. He's got quite a bit of learning to do before we let him loose," Hansen told AAP on Sunday when discussing the in-form Highlanders fly-half.

"But, at some point, we'd like to think we can get everyone a bit of an opportunity over these next five games."

After facing the Pumas, New Zealand take on South Africa (away) and Australia (away) in the Rugby Championship before a home game with the Wallabies.

Hansen will of course be boosted by the returning seventeen players from the Highlanders and Hurricanes who were unavailable against Samoa, but he is keen for those players to leave any Super Rugby talk at the door this week.

"We've put a full-stop on Super Rugby," he said.

"We've come together to be an All Black team, but an All Black team is made up of individuals. We'll do what's right for the team, and what's right for the individual."

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