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Rugby | International Rugby

Steve Hansen © Gallo Images

O'Neill dismisses Hansen's player-poaching claims



Australian Rugby Union CEO John O'Neill has dismissed as "insulting and ill-informed" claims by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that Australia is stealing New Zealand players.

Hansen made the assertion after New Zealand's 18-18 draw with the Wallabies in a Bledisloe Cup test on Saturday in which New Zealand-born centre Mike Harris kicked five penalties for Australia.

The All Blacks coach says Australia should concentrate on developing its own talent, rather than trying to build depth by "pinching" New Zealand players.

O'Neill says New Zealand should put its own house in order before criticizing Australia, adding "the comments from the All Blacks coach are insulting, ill-informed. I would not even want to guess how many players born in the South Pacific islands have worn the All Blacks jersey."

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