Steve Hansen to keep Rieko Ioane on the wing for All Blacks

Date published: August 11 2018

Coach Steve Hansen says Rieko Ioane will remain on the wing for the All Blacks, despite having scored a hat-trick at centre in the ‘Game of Three Halves’.

As part of the ‘Game of Three Halves’, the All Blacks played Canterbury and Otago for 40 minutes each at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Friday night.

Although it was a pre-season friendly, it means Ioane has now scored consecutive hat-tricks in his last two All Blacks appearances. The 21-year-old has featured predominantly at centre for the Blues in Super Rugby this season.

But Hansen insists it was more about giving everyone a run than a conscious decision to play him there.

“He was all right but we have got enough of them,” said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen after the ‘Game of Three Halves’ in regard to how he felt Ioane played at centre.

“To give everyone a run the logical thing was to put him at centre. We didn’t really care where people played we just wanted them to play and experience burning lungs.”