Give Ngani Laumape the ball and he can make defenders wish they had updated their health insurance policies. Or call for their Mamas.
But he hit a brick wall last year. When the All Blacks selectors settled on their squad for the Rugby Championship in August last August, the midfielder had been given the bump.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen revealed the reasons for Laumape’s omission; the midfielder needed to improve his communication, decision-making and give his first five-eighth more assistance.
Laumape wasn’t pushed completely out of the All Blacks’ loop – he was named in the wider squad to travel to Japan later in the year – but he was no longer a member of the inner-circle.
With just five rounds of Super Rugby regular season remaining, fringe All Blacks like Laumape cannot dither. It’s more important than ever that they keep plunging down the pedal. It’s time to get it on for Round 14