All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster believes that Vaea Fifita may have a case of message received but not quite understood.

The 26-year-old Fifita was the shock omission from the All Blacks Rugby Championship squad and earlier today he said he felt he hadn't been given a truthful answer as to why.

Fifita said that he couldn't understand why he was told he needed to play at blindside to be picked there by the All Blacks, yet Jackson Hemopo, who was a regular lock for the Highlanders, has replaced him in the national squad.

"He [All Blacks coach Steve Hansen] told me that [Fifita needed to be playing at blindside flanker]," Fifita told Stuff.


"But when I saw he got interviewed and he said he signed Hemopo to six, not lock, I kind of feel like he's not telling me the truth. But that's life."

It's the sort of accusation that Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is sure to pick up on this week ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney and use to try to create some disharmony in the All Blacks camp.

No doubt with that in mind, Foster tried to diffuse Fifita's comments by suggesting the 26-year-old remains firmly in the All Blacks' sights and the expectation is that he will return to the squad in the not too distant future.

"It's understandable that players are disappointed and probably don't hear things at certain times," said Foster.

"We love Vaea. He went through a mixed Super season mainly playing at lock and we felt it was time for him to actually spend a bit more time at six to get to know that role really, really well.

"It's our intention that he's far from gone from this squad and we would love to see him come back in again pretty soon and if he hasn't quite understood that then we will go and clear that up with him."

Foster also confirmed that while the Richie Mo'unga or Beauden Barrett may have raged outside the camp, it hasn't been one to engross the selectors.

"Have I spent any extra time with him..? No. You get lots of chatter in this game don't you. It comes and goes and I see the chatter as being positive as it is actually about Richie.


"We have been able to grow the last 12 months to the point where we now have three 10s that we are pretty excited about. The fact Richie has put his hand up and nailed a great campaign and had his first test in June is a massive positive for us.

'I don't think that impacts on Beaudy. he has just got to do what he does and he's done an amazing job for this team in the last year - well, ever since he came into the squad.

"They will push each other and generate pressure on each other and that is positive for us.

"I have known for him a long time and he'd done nothing but impress me with the way he prepares to play the game. No 10s have a lot of pressure and they make a lot of decisions and they influence the game a lot and the way he goes about preparing he's at peace with himself and who he is."

Stuff reported Hansen has since called the 26-year-old from Sydney, where the All Blacks are preparing for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia to further clarify why Hemopo was in the squad and what he wants from Fifita in the coming weeks.