Andrew Hore signs on but ABs duties call

GLENN MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 08/08/2012
Andrew Hore
Iain McGregor/Fairfax NZ
TARANAKI MAN: Andrew Hore.

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Hooker Andrew Hore will continue to have Taranaki beside his All Blacks profile but the chances of him turning out for his provincial side on more than two or three occasions look slim.

Taranaki Rugby yesterday announced they have signed Hore on a one-year deal, continuing his association with the union that began in 2001.

"I'm pretty pleased to be back playing for Taranaki, it's where everything started for me. I'll be there as much as I can to help the boys out with the ITM Cup and playing for the Ranfurly Shield," he said in a brief statement.

Hore has managed just eight appearances for Taranaki since 2007 as the All Blacks continued to be kept out of the national provincial championship because of Tri-Nations commitments.

Their absence is set to get worse because of the expanded Rugby Championship, which now includes home and away matches against Argentina.

There is a chance Hore could add to his 62 appearances for Taranaki during a break in the Rugby Championship. The matches against Tasman, Northland and Wellington won't clash with All Blacks tests.

Just how happy All Blacks coach Steve Hansen would be to release him would be another matter, however.

His inclusion in the Taranaki front row would also be a big boost for the Taranaki coaches, who are without the services of Mahonri Schwalger after the former Samoa captain opted to transfer to Counties-Manukau.

"It's good to be able to have him with us again," Tenderlink Taranaki coach Colin Cooper said.

"There are a couple of windows of opportunity when he could play and he would bring a lot of experience. He wants to be with us and he is the type of player who, if he gets the opportunity to play, he'll play."

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