Graham Henry doesn’t seem to have learned anything from his World Cup defeat.
The All Black coaches acknowledge that Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith were an exceptional combination in the first English test, and so what do they do?
They leave Smith out of the side entirely for the second test.
Isn’t the reserves bench where new players gain experience in the test jersey? Starting Richard Kahui and Rudi Wulf seems preposterous. And Conrad Smith can feel rightly pissed off that he is relegated, not to the bench, but to the grandstand.
That’s a great way to instill loyalty in the fans, and in the players.
[UPDATE:] Former All Blacks coach John Hart also thinks that splitting Nonu and Smith is a wrong decision. See the story here.