VETERAN All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore is adamant it’s been a long time since he’s had a hangover, and he’s certainly not expecting any lingering after-effects from New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup-winning exploits last year.
The All Blacks won their first World Cup for 24 years in downing France 8-7 in Auckland but remain wary of succumbing to any post-Web Ellis Cup slump in form.
“It was pretty awesome what we did last year, but that was last year. Now we’ve just got to front up,” Hore said.
“Everything’s changed – we’ve got Test matches in the middle of Super Rugby, we’ve got Argentinian games … It’s new challenges all the way, so hopefully there’s not too many hangovers to go.”
Hore is in Wellington as part of the All Blacks’ 35-strong wider training group taking part in the second of two camps slotted in between Super Rugby matches.
He returns to the Highlanders for their round-15 match against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday, before the 30-strong squad for the three-Test series against Ireland is named on Sunday.
The 62-Test rake is quietly confident of making the cut and taking the field against Ireland in Auckland on June 9, although he admits there’s some strong competition keeping the pressure on him and Keven Mealamu.
At 33, and almost 10 years on from his international debut against England, Hore is aware time isn’t on his side in the longer term.
“Kevvie and I are pretty well into our 30s and the big picture, come World Cup time, is you want to get some young guys going.”
But that doesn’t mean he’s about to give up the black jersey easily.
“That’s all up to the coaches. I’m still keen enough, and things are going pretty well.
“If I can hold my form together, and they keep picking me, I’ll keep going.”