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All Black centre opens up on frustrating period

SPOTLIGHT: All Black centre Anton Lienert-Brown admitted that the last few seasons have been frustrating for him.

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The 28-year-old has been in and out of the New Zealand squad and injuries have also played a big part in that over the last couple of years.

This year, the Chiefs centre missed his team’s opening two Tests against Argentina and South Africa due to a ban he received for a head collision with Dallas McLeod in the Super Rugby Pacific Final.

Lienert-Brown was in good form until that incident, but he is ready to put all that behind him to fight for a spot in New Zealand’s World Cup squad.

“I’m human and there have been times when I’ve been frustrated,” he told Stuff.

“But you’ve just got to quickly get over it, move on, and focus week by week.

“When you’re not playing, you’ve got to focus on getting better and fitter.”

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If Lienert-Brown does get an opportunity against the Wallabies in Melbourne on Saturday, he is going to have to make full use of it.

Jodie Barrett and Rieko Ioane have played well as a midfield combination in the opening two Tests and they are seen by many as the frontrunners for the No.12 and No.13 jerseys heading into the World Cup.

“They’re going extremely well, and I’ve enjoyed watching them,” said Lienert-Brown.

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“For myself, it’s just about doing all you can. The benefit of not playing is you don’t get any niggles and can have a full week’s training.

“I was feeling pretty good up until I ran into my good mate Dallas’ head.

“That was a frustrating moment, but before that, I felt I had got myself into a good place, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve just been training hard.”

On completing World Rugby’s coaching intervention programme after getting a suspension, Lienert-Brown said: “I’m an expert now.

“I feel like a new man, or at least a new tackler.”

Source: stuff.co.nz

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