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Donald’s dreams dashed – Stephen Donald hasn’t been invited to the All Blacks’ 25-man training camp and will be only be called upon if there are injuries to players within the World Cup group.

Coach Graham Henry has selected 25 players that won’t be involved for the Crusaders and Blues for the Super Rugby playoffs. This group will take part in two training camps in Wellington over the next two weeks.

Donald was long considered the alternative to flyhalf Dan Carter, but Henry confirmed that the Chiefs pivot is simply not good enough to represent the All Blacks in a World Cup year.

‘We just think other people are playing better right now,’ Henry told ‘I talked to him about that yesterday and unless we have injuries, he’s not likely to be involved.’

The All Blacks’ Tri-Nations squad will be named on 10 July.

Players invited to the first camp –
Chiefs: Ben Afeaki, Hikawera Elliot, Richard Kahui, Brendon Leonard, Liam Messam, Mils Muliaina and Sitiveni Sivivatu.
Hurricanes: Aaron Cruden, Hosea Gear, Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Neemia Tialata, Victor Vito and Piri Weepu.
Highlanders: Jimmy Cowan, Tom Donnelly, Jarrad Hoeata, Colin Slade, Ben Smith and Adam Thomson.
Injured players: Israel Dagg, Isaia Toeava and Tony Woodcock.