World Cup years are about blending the old and new; striking the balance between trusted, experienced horses and those colts bolting out the gate. Timing is everything for rookies eager to crack the ultimate stage.

Steve Hansen enjoys a punt and knows a thing or two about horses. Throughout his All Blacks tenure, instinctive selection has been one of Hansen's strongest attributes.

Newbies always grab attention but a squad of 39 for the first two Rugby Championship tests against Argentina and South Africa skews the initial picture, somewhat.

Eight players will be cut between now and World Cup departure in

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