Creating proper environment as tricky as getting the game plan right

Sam Whitelock

There has been a surge in stories lately about who’s going to end up where in 2020 and not all of it has been about your columnist.

This time of the season is frenetic anyway, but in a World Cup year it becomes a superhighway of rumour and conjecture, as clubs and national unions bid to lock down their plans for 2020 and beyond. 

New Zealand is one of a number of countries to face a considerable upheaval after the World Cup, with Steve Hansen and a number of players heading for pastures new, most of them to Japan which ticks a lot of financial, cultural, and proximity-to-home boxes. 

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