No final fling for Crusaders' Flynn just yet

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2014
Todd Blackadder and Corey Flynn
Fairfax NZ
LISTEN UP: Coach Todd Blackadder and Corey Flynn relax after training at Rugby Park this week.

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Corey Flynn's grip on his No 2 jersey remains firm.

Even though the 33-year-old was named in the Crusaders squad for his 13th season it raised the possibility his role would be to mentor Ben Funnell and Codie Taylor.

Not likely, says Flynn. If Funnell and Taylor want the starter's jersey, they are going to have to wrench it off him.

"I think I would be doing the jersey a disservice if I just stood back," Flynn says.

"When they are good enough and when it is time for them they will make that step up. That will make Ben and Codie appreciate it too - they won't just have it thrown at them."

Tonight Flynn earns his 136th Super Rugby cap against the Blues at Eden Park. Since he replaced the chronically injured Mark Hammett as the franchise's top rake in 2004, Flynn has brushed off a number of challengers.

Serious injuries have ruined some campaigns, such as 2010 when Ti'i Paulo started all but one match, but Flynn is still here.

When Flynn made his Crusaders debut in 2002 the competition had 12 teams and was completed in around three months. Sanzar's desire to extend the competition from 15 to 17 teams doesn't excite him.

"They have to have a good look at it ... I don't think they can just keep adding teams for the sake of it.

"It's got to add to the competition. If it doesn't, what's the point in doing it?"

When Flynn first started playing Super Rugby the finals were in late May. Now the competition ends in early August.

"It was a sprint [in 2002]. If you didn't get out of the blocks fast it made it a hell of a slog, so it was different."

Flynn has been around long enough to keep last week's loss to the Chiefs in context, given the length of the season, but another error-ridden display could prove suicidal against the Blues.

"We had 70 per cent territory and 70 per cent possession. We just couldn't capitalise on the opportunities that we made and that's individual skills, pretty much."

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