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Jane starts for New Zealand amid World Cup furore

Updated: October 09, 2011, 03:51


AUCKLAND, New Zealand(AP) Winger Cory Jane started for the All Blacks against Argentina in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals on Sunday, hours after reports emerged of his drunken night out with injured teammate Israel Dagg.

Jane, who also reportedly contravened strict no-smoking zone regulations by lighting up in a pub, and Dagg received undisclosed sanctions from the All Blacks, team manager Darren Shand told the New Zealand Herald on Sunday. Dagg was not playing on Sunday because of a leg injury.

"Cory had better play a blinder,'' Shand warned.

What All Blacks management found even more inexplicable was that the duo risked their fitness at a time when the squad was depleted of outside backs, with Richard Kahui and Zac Guildford nursing hamstring injuries.

"It's not what we expect in this team, particularly not in players who are playing this week,'' Shand said. "This is it for us, do or die. Lose and we're out.''

According to the Herald, Jane and Dagg were already swaying and slurring when they walked into a bar near the team hotel in Takapuna in Auckland's North Shore area. When police arrived for a routine check, the players hid in the bar kitchen.

When Jane unexpectedly lit up, a bar member took the cigarette from him. They were eventually ushered out the back of the bar but returned a little later. That's when fellow All Black Piri Weepu arrived to take them back to the hotel.

"We don't have any policy on smoking or drinking, we just expect them to make good decisions,'' Shand said. "Clearly there is enough evidence out there from both sides to say they have let themselves down.

"They are the ones who are going to face the consequences now because they are going to be known - particularly across the country - as the guys who let the team down.''

Last month, Guildford admitted to an alcohol problem after excessive drinking on tour with the All Blacks. He broke an agreement to moderate his drinking after a poor performance in the Tri-Nations defeat to Australia in Brisbane.

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