Devastated Masoe considers future
May 27, 2008

Hurricanes flanker Chris Masoe is considering his future with the All Blacks after being omitted from the New Zealand training squad.

Masoe, who has played 20 tests for the All Blacks, was devastated to find out that he had been left out of the 25-man squad via a voice message and is now considering an immediate release from his New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) contract.

The loose forward will make a decision on whether to quit New Zealand rugby soon, either heading to Europe or switching codes, in June.

His manager Bruce Sharrock said of how the news was broken: "To be perfectly honest, they were voice messages so they haven't had the opportunity to talk to anyone."

Masoe is on contract until the end of 2008, but Sharrock said talks had begun of executing a get-out early clause in his contract.

"Chris has an option to get out," Sharrock said. "We are talking already about the various options."

Masoe's omission has come as a shock. For the past three test seasons the All Blacks coaching staff have developed him into a utility loose forward, often covering all three positions off the bench.

His efforts at No.6 for the Hurricanes during Jerry Collins' injury-enforced lay-off during the Super 14 were eye-catching.

But obviously the All Black brains trust haven't seen things that way.

And Sharrock believed Masoe had been a victim of a major change in mind-set by the All Blacks' coaching staff.

"Chris has been there for three years and been an instrumental part. And his form has form has been OK but I think their mix is going to be somewhat different this year.

"After turning him into a utility, playing at [No.] 6, 7 and 8, I think they are now going for [specialist] No.6s, 7s and 8s.

"He is a victim of a change of plan," Sharrock added.


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