Steve Hansen said Brad Shields would probably have been included in the New Zealand squad if he had not pledged his allegiance to England.
Hurricanes captain Shields - who will join Wasps once he has completed his Super Rugby commitments - is set to make his Test debut on England's tour of South Africa next month.
The flanker opted to turn his back on his homeland to start his international career, but All Blacks head coach Hansen claims he could have been lining up for the world champions after naming his 33-man squad to face France in June.
"It is obviously one of those positions... he probably would have made this team this year," Hansen told Newstalk ZB.
"I wish him all the best. He wants to play Test rugby, he obviously didn't see a future here.
"Straight away Jerome Kaino retired, Reado [Kieran Read] is injured, Liam Squire hasn't played a lot of rugby this year. The six-eight role has become a focus for us this year.
"That's the thing about the All Blacks - you've got to stay resilient because you are always up against someone else as good if not a little better. If you are not prepared to wait for the opportunity and keep working at it you are not going to get it.
"That's my point to the people who have missed out today - we used 54 players last year and we won't just use 33 this year.
"Someone will get an opportunity and if they mentally stay in the game, stay in the fight through being resilient with how they prepare and how they play on game day, they will get that opportunity."
Uncapped trio Jordan Taufua, Shannon Frizell and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi were included in the New Zealand squad to take on Les Bleus in a three-Test series.
19. Oktober 2018
|´Do we really want opera every night?´ - Klopp not changing Nations League view|
|Vile and abhorrent – Chelsea´s Carney responds to online abuse|
|Giants WR Beckham Jr. explains why he might cramp up: ´I really don´t like water´|
|Man City pay training-pitch tribute to Joe Hart|
|Neymar to be rested as Tuchel rubbishes Ballon d´Or concerns|
|Sarri ´not interested´ in Christensen father´s quit threat|
|Cardinals fire offensive coordinator McCoy after 1-6 start|
|Neymar return unlikely, but anything can happen – Valverde|
|Bairstow a doubt for fourth ODI|
|Manchester United fined for late arrival and delayed kick-off against Valencia|
|Australia-Pakistan chat not ´especially polite´ - Sarfraz|
|Pogba relishing ´pressure game´ against in-form Hazard|
|Don´t bet on Cardiff survival, warns Warnock|
|Buffon enjoying Tuchel´s methods at PSG|
|RIP to Wimbledon epics! Isner feels like The Undertaker following final-set tie-break rule|
|Sevilla performance sealed Bernat´s Bayern exit - Hoeness|
|Keita set to miss out as Liverpool monitor injured stars|
|He didn´t want to be here – Guardiola doubts Sancho will return to Manchester City|
|Sarri: Manchester United are the best in the Premier League|
|Mourinho salutes ´brave´ Shaw for ´best possible´ response to criticism|
|No Ballon d´Or distractions for Griezmann, insists Simeone|
|Wigan stand by Hardaker as full-back prepares to undergo rehabilitation|
|Barcelona deny Neymar talk|
|Hazard can win the Ballon d´Or as a Chelsea player, insists Sarri|
|De Bruyne in contention to start in Manchester City´s clash with Burnley|
|Neymar needs to mature to reach Messi levels - Xavi|
|We have a hell of a lot to do - Paine slams Australia batting|
|Kerber and Osaka to meet at WTA Finals|
|Lorenzo out of Japanese MotoGP|
|Real Madrid handed Africa trip in Copa del Rey|
|Allegri: Ronaldo has sharpened Juventus focus|
|No Wade in Wasps squad amid NFL reports|
|Rooney: Five of us controlled Man United dressing room|
|Bayern bosses launch scathing attack on ´disrespectful´ media|
|Saints lock in Lawes to new deal|
|Adelaide United 1 Sydney 1: Debutant Le Fondre rescues a point|
|Madrid can´t look back, only forward - Lopetegui confident of revival|
|Wimbledon to introduce final-set tie-breaks|
|Abbas inspires Pakistan to series victory|
|Madrid boss Lopetegui hopeful on Bale availability|
|Mood is positive at Bayern, insists under-pressure Kovac|
|LeBron offers food for thought after losing Lakers debut|
|Bolt future not an immediate concern for Mariners|
|Hazard: I could finish my career at Chelsea|
|Buffon hoping to avoid Champions League final against Juventus|
|Wilshere not ready for West Ham return|
|Chelsea v Manchester United: Hazard better under Sarri than he ever was with Mourinho|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Khawaja suffers meniscal tear, doubt for India series|
|Babbel: Klopp must win trophies now at Liverpool|
|LeBron makes spectacular start on Lakers debut, but LA fall to Trail Blazers|
|Broncos thrash Cardinals to end losing streak|
|Price leads Red Sox past Astros and into World Series|
|LeBron makes fast start on Lakers debut with two massive dunks|
|Real Salt Lake 4 New England Revolution 1: Hosts boost play-off chances|
|Simmons gets triple-double in win over Bulls|
|´Ambitious´ Maguire wants Champions League football|
|Henry praises ´charismatic leader´ Falcao|
|WATCH: Cardinals WR Fitzgerald tackles former QB Warner on sidelines|
|Spurs right not to make signings – Pochettino|
|Icardi happy at Inter, close to contract renewal|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Bosa leaves Ohio State while the World Series is almost set|
|Liverpool boost as Salah and Van Dijk join training|
|Cowboys discuss road woes, Prescott says team ´addressed the elephant in the room´|
|Isner scrapes through in Stockholm, Monfils eliminates Tsonga|
18. Oktober 2018
|Hinch says Altuve would be out with injury in regular season|
|WATCH: Schwarzenegger tells LeBron to make Lakers great again|
|LeBron tells Lakers coach Walton: I´m always fresh!|
|Mayweather should come back to fight me - Alvarez|
|Goerges battles past Vekic, Kasatkina wins all-Russian tie|