Highlanders absence part of juggle for All Blacks

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James Mortimer     20 May 2013     Getty Images

However an All Blacks tinge began yesterday as the first of two All Black training camps started in Mount Maunganui.

This current camp, the first of two, runs through to Tuesday, and comes while the Highlanders are touring the Republic, although Ma'a Nonu didn't travel with the team.

This means that Hosea Gear, Andrew Hore, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Tony Woodcock did not attend the first camp.

They will however be part of the second camp, which runs from from Sunday 26 May to Tuesday 28 May.

Hansen told 3News that the first Test assembly for the World Champions for 2013 was operating with cooperation from local Investec Super Rugby coaches.

"You've got to get one thing clear," says Hansen.

"This is a joint Super Rugby and All Blacks decision. In fact, the Super Rugby coaches made the decision to have these camps. They get three months to build up. All we're asking for is some prep time."

Hansen did confirm however that players would be 'returned' to their Super Rugby franchises ready to play.