All Blacks coach defends decision to give Naholo a break

ALL Blacks coach Steve Hansen has defended the decision to name Fijian-born winger Waisake Naholo in the 31-man squad for the World Cup, despite the fact the 24-year-old is recovering from a broken leg.

"Yes, he's injured but he's on the road to recovery," Hansen said.

"He'll be fit to play in the third game, which technically means he only misses one because the first two games are only four days apart, so he wouldn't have played in both of those anyway."

Hansen also said selecting Naholo (pictured), who has played just 45 minutes for the All Blacks, was worth the risk because of his ability to beat players and score spectacular tries.

"We can't win this World Cup by having something ordinary - we have to bring something different, and he brings that," the coach said.

New Zealand starts its title defence against Argentina on August 20, and plays Georgia in game three on October 2.