Israel Dagg is heading for shoulder surgery - completing what the discarded All Black has described as a "helluva year" which included the "call of death" from national coach Steve Hansen.

"We'll just move on to 2016," he said after it was confirmed he will need surgery on the shoulder he dislocated in Hawke's Bay's successful defence of the Ranfurly Shield against Auckland last Thursday.

"It's been a tough year but life goes on and you've just got to keep going up."

The surgery caps a horror year for Dagg who talked candidly with Newstalk ZB sports host Tony Veitch about being dumped from the All Blacks for the World Cup defence and any hope of being an injury replacement at the tournament now being dashed.

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He said he knew he hadn't done enough to make the Cup squad and was expecting "the call of death from 'Shag' (Hansen)" following an Super Rugby season plagued by calf injuries.

"I just left my run a bit late. I felt I probably hadn't done enough to make that World Cup. You always hope you are going to make it but I expected it wasn't going to be the phone call I wanted. But I was kind of ready for it."

Dagg said All Blacks mental guru Gilbert Enoka had been in regular contact from the UK with him and others who had narrowly missed the cut like Cory Jane and Andy Ellis.

"It's a big family and we just want the guys to do well. Gilbert's been sending emails about what has been going on in the camp, so we're still a part of it.

"It makes you still feel involved."

Dagg said at 27, he felt he still had "a few good years ahead of me" and vowed to have a big year in 2016.

He felt the All Blacks were in good shape despite indifferent reviews of their first two pool matches.

"I just know what's been going on in the camp. I know they won't be taking it easy. I know they've been working really hard as a unit.

"Whoever they play they're going to step up. Hopefully they can do something special and create a bit of history of back-to back."