Ryan Crotty said he "stayed about for so long" to hopefully get the opportunity to play in a Rugby World Cup.
The midfield veteran will leave New Zealand Rugby at the end of the year to join the Japanese club Kobota Spears.
The decade long Crusader and 44 test match player for the All Black’s wasn’t selected for either of the World Cup squads during his time with New Zealand Rugby.
But missing out in 2015 has only given Crotty more drive to make the 2019 side.
“Remembering back it was really tough, but a bit of adversity and you learn from it. I grew a lot from missing out on that team,” he said. “I’ve done everything I can to try and make it so when I leave New Zealand I’ll have no regrets.”
Although it comes as a risky decision as the All Black selectors have said they will favour those staying in New Zealand if they can’t decide between players: a probable outcome with New Zealand’s high number of excellent midfielders and only four spots to fill.
But Crotty said it’s the risk he has to take. “You've just got to back yourself and play the best possible footy you can to give the best opportunity to be selected for the World Cup.”
“Should that opportunity arise it’d be one I’d be pretty grateful for,” he said.
There were other options for Crotty than the Kobota Spears but he said to play for the top league in Japan was the right one for him and his family.