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Nonu and Smith preferred, but Ranger and Saili are options

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James Mortimer     15 May 2013     Getty Images

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen suggested that the two were the ideal option to start against Les Bleus, but there were other candidates in the training squad, with Blues centres Rene Ranger and Francis Saili part of the first selection.

There are also utility backs featured, and Ben Smith and Tom Taylor are players that offer different qualities to the blockbusting nature of Saili and Ranger.

Hansen said, despite Nonu's form and Smith's recent concussion injury and lingering knee complaint, he wasn't concerned with his centre options.

"We've been struck down with quite a number of injuries (in the outside backs)," Hansen said.

"(But) there's not too many concerns, I think we're pretty happy with what we've got."

Hansen said that Smith would not be selected if the Hurricanes captain was unsure of his wellbeing, but the All Blacks coach said casual observations indicated he was not too bad.

"From the way he was jumping around on the sidelines the other night when the Hurricanes scored that try (against the Cheetahs), he didn't look too bad," said Hansen.

"But with Conrad, we certainly wouldn't ask him to play until he was ready to play. If he feels he's not right, then he won't play. If he feels he's right and medical staff think he's right, then he becomes eligable for selection."

Hansen did say that both of the Blues prodigies would be options.

"Both of them are in good form, and they're in a team that's playing really well and getting great opportunities," Hansen said.

"By being in the camp, it signals that we're resonably interested in looking at them, and knowing more about how well they are playing and how they're travelling. We know somewhat about Rene - he's been in the team before - but we don't know anything about Frank, so we'd like to know a little bit more."