I think that's one of if not thee major reason why Kearney never picked him because he turned his back on the game and went to rugby.
That's the only logical explanation I can come up with.
Kieran Foran pffft SBW's energy drinking pill taking side kick has got a cheek having a hissy fit saying he wouldn't play alongside Benji.
That shit is borderline amateur attitude, get the fark over it and do what's best for the team not your own agenda.
Benji is most definitely a different player these days, he's a far better player. He is more mature, team orientated, he doesn't go away from team structure, he polled well in the Dally M's this season, a totally different attitude.
He would have put the polish and structure on our final plays, repeat sets, not to mention his threat when taking it to the line.. the amount of clueless play and tactical kicking was unbearable to watch. In hindsight was it a mistake leaving him home? Yes it was, it was a bad mistake and it cost us this series.
IMO I dont think its got anything to do with Benji switching...SBW did aswell, and he didnt have any issues picking him.
I dont think its a culture thing either....cause SBW screwed around when naming the worldcup squad and didnt make himself available for the match until after the squad was named, and he still didnt mind picking him at the expense of Harris...Foran gets picked even after the drinks/pills saga...where's the culture in picking them?
To me, it looks like a personal issue. Benji hasnt played for NZ since his captaincy was taken away, so im assuming they must have had a fall out at that point. Benji's obviously to blame aswell, but you'd think in the national interest Kearney would get over it....but it looks like he cant