One notable omission from All Blacks squad

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Spare a thought today for those who failed to make the All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad.

It’s a powerful team, but we’re leaving behind so much talent. Veterans like Cory Jane and Israel Dagg just didn’t do enough to secure a spot in the squad. The newcomers Nepo Laulala and Lima Sopoaga performed well when given the opportunity, but were victims of the intense competition for places.

But no-one will be hurting more than John Key. Key has all the skills, so he must be wondering what he did wrong, and why the selectors chose to overlook him. There’s no better exponent of the sidestep than Key, and he’s both feared and admired by his opponents for the ability to break tackles and savage defences. He can kick off both the left and right foot, and he continues to break point-scoring records.

John Key put everything into this All Blacks campaign, so it’s sad to see him miss out. He has worked hard to get close to this team, about as close as a person can get without losing all sense of dignity and decorum. And then a bit closer still. He has invested so much of his political capital in this team that if they fail, his image may take a battering.

Surely a role can be found for someone as devoted to the All Blacks as John Key. He is already the team’s unofficial mascot, but there must be some other use for his talents. Perhaps he could carry the bags or drive the team bus.

He could even help with the laundry. “I’m just sniffing Richie’s undies to make sure they’re clean.” Sure, John, sure. Good on ya.