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2017 Super Rugby Aus / NZ squad analysis

bazwaz

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Chiefs

Australia


BRUMBIES


INS: Nic Mayhew (Blues), Faalelei Sione (Canberra Vikings), Saia Fainga’a (Reds), Chris Al[removed] (Force), Tom Cusack (Sevens), Lolo Fakaosilea (Reds), Ryan Lonergan (Tuggeranong Vikings), Anthony Fainga’a (Reds), Kyle Godwin (Force)

OUTS: David Po[removed] (sabbatical), Albert Anae (Mitsubishi Dynaboars), Ruan Smith (Toyota Verblitz), Stephen Moore (Reds), Michael Wells (Waratahs), Ita Vaea (retired), Michael Dowsett (Worcester Warriors), Matt Toomua (Leicester Tigers), Robbie Coleman (Force), Joe Tomane (Montpellier)

2017 SQUAD: Allan Alaalatoa, Ben Alexander, Les Makin, Nic Mayhew, Scott Sio, Robbie Abel, Saia Fainga’a, Josh Mann-Rea, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Blake Enever, Tom Staniforth, Chris Al[removed], Tom Cusack, Scott Fardy, Jordan Smiler, Jarrad Butler, Lolo Fakaosilea, Tomas Cubelli, Ryan Lonergan, Joe Powell, Nick Jooste, Christian Lealiifano, Anthony Fainga’a, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Andrew Smith, Nigel Ah Wong, James Dargaville, Henry Speight, Lausii Taliauli, Aidan Toua, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Ben Hyne, Faalelei Sione

BEST XV: Aidan Toua, Nigel Ah Wong, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Henry Speight, Nick Jooste, Tomas Cubelli, Jarrad Butler, Chris Al[removed], Scott Fardy, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Allan Alaalatoa, Saia Fainga’a, Scott Sio

VERDICT: The Brumbies have been severely depleted of experience and quality with Wallabies stars David Po[removed], Stephen Moore, Matt Toomua and Joe Tomane all pushing on.

Their pick-ups have been in the handy, rather than spectacular bracket, and they desperately need to recruit a No 10 with Christian Lealiifano’s playing future uncertain as he fights leukaemia.

ODDS (UBet): $10



WARATAHS

INS: Sekope Kepu (Bordeaux), Damien Fitzpatrick (Lyon), Leon Power (Taranaki), Michael Wells (Brumbies), Cameron Clark (Sevens), Irae Simone (Sydney Rays)

OUTS: Cameron Orr (Gloucester), Benn Robinson (retired), Jeremy Tilse (released), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Force), Sam Lousi (Hurricanes), Dave Dennis (Exeter Chiefs), Kurtley Beale (Wasps), Matt Carraro (Toulon), Henry Clunies-Ross (Lyon), Zac Guildford (released)

2017 SQUAD: Sekope Kepu, Tom Robertson, Paddy Ryan, Matt Sandell, Angus Ta’avao, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tolu Latu, Hugh Roach, Jed Holloway, Ned Hanigan, Dean Mumm, Leon Power, Will Skelton, Senio Toleafoa, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Michael Wells, Brad Wilkin, Jake Gordon, Matt Lucas, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Bryce Hegarty, Rob Horne, David Horwitz, Jim Stewart, Cameron Clark, Andrew Kellaway, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Reece Robinson, Israel Folau, Harry Jones

BEST XV: Andrew Kellaway, Cameron Clark, Israel Folau, Rob Horne, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper, Jack Dempsey, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson

VERDICT: Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson will turn to the next generation of local talent after losing stalwarts Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Dave Dennis and Kurtley Beale.

There are promising signs, with Andrew Kellaway, Jed Holloway, Jack Dempsey, Tolu Latu and Tom Robertson all playing good football in 2016.

The return of Sekope Kepu from France is big.

ODDS (UBet): $19



REBELS

INS: Tyrel Lomax (Brumbies), Jordan Uelese (Melbourne University), Dominic Day (Toyota Verblitz), Alex Toolis (Edinburgh), Amanaki Mafi (NTT Shining Arcs), Jackson Garden-Bachop (Wellington), Jack McGregor (Gordon), Pama Fou (Sevens), Marika Koroibete (Melbourne Storm), Jack Maddocks (Eastern Suburbs)

OUTS: Ryan [removed]er (Taranaki), Jamie Hagan (released), Luke Jones (Bordeaux), Scott Fuglistaller (Toyota Industries Shuttles), Adam Thomson (Canon Eagles), Daniel Hawkins (Northland), Paul Asquith (Western Sydney Rams), Tamati Ellison (Ricoh Black Rams), Mike Harris (Lyon), Cam Crawford (released), Kotaro Matsushima (Suntory Sungoliath)

2017 SQUAD: Cruze Ah-Nau, Steve [removed]mins, Dominic Day, Jack Debreczeni, Tom English, Colby Fainga’a, Pama Fou, Harley Fox, Jackson Garden-Bachop, James Hanson, Reece Hodge, Mitch Inman, Sam Jeffries, Marika Koroibete, Pat Leafa, Rob Leota, Tyrel Lomax, Jack McGregor, Sean McMahon, Jack Maddocks, Amanaki Mafi, Ben Meehan, Tim Metcher, Tom Moloney, Sefa Naivalu, Jonah Placid, Jordy Reid, Culum Retallick, Dominic Shipperley, Siliva Siliva, Toby Smith, Mick Snowden, Nic Stirzaker, Lopeti Timani, Alex Toolis, Sione Tuipulotu, Jordan Uelese, Laurie Weeks

BEST XV: Jack Maddocks, Marika Koroibete, Sefa Naivalu, Reece Hodge, Dom Shipperley, Jack Debreczeni, Nic Stirzaker, Amanaki Mafi, Sean McMahon, Jordy Reid, Lopeti Timani, Dominic Day, Tyrel Lomax, James Hanson, Toby Smith

VERDICT: Love the capture of big No 8 Amanaki Mafi, who was an absolute star for Japan at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

There has also been a lot of hype about signing Storm winger Marika Koroibete, and the Rebels will have no lack of strike out wide.

But the loss of stalwarts Luke Jones, Scott Fuglistaller, Adam Thomson, Tamati Ellison and Mike Harris has to be a concern.

ODDS (UBet): $51



REDS

INS: Markus Vanzati (Brisbane City), Alex Mafi (Queensland Country), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Izack Rodda (Queensland Country), Reece Hewat, George Smith (Wasps), Scott Higginbotham (NEC Green Rockets), Moses Sorovi (Brisbane City), Quade Cooper (Toulon), Lachlan Maranta (Brisbane Broncos), Jayden Ngamanu (Souths)

OUTS: Ben Daley (Force), Greg Holmes (Exeter Chiefs), Saia Fainga’a (Brumbies), Matt Mafi (Brisbane City), Ben Matwijow (Force), Curtis Browning (Lyon), Liam Gill (Toulon), Waita Setu (GPS), Lolo Fakaosilea (Brumbies), Jake Schatz (released), Scott Gale (Western Sydney Rams), Sam Greene (Toyota Industries Shuttles), Anthony Fainga’a (Brumbies), Alex Gibbon (Brisbane City), Junior Laloifi (Brisbane City), Tom Banks (Queensland Country), Ayumu Goromaru (Toulon), JJ Taulagi (Munakata Sanix Blues), Jack Tuttle (Norths)

2017 SQUAD: Sef Fa’agase, Pettowa Paraka, James Slipper, Sam Talakai, Taniela Tupou, Markus Vanzati, Alex Mafi, Stephen Moore, Andrew Ready, Kane Douglas, Cadeyrn Neville, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui, Michael Gunn, Reece Hewat, Scott Higginbotham, Leroy Houston, Adam Korczyk, George Smith, Caleb Timu, Hendrik Tui, Nick Frisby, Moses Sorovi, James Tuttle, Quade Cooper, Jake McIntyre, Samu Kerevi, Campbell Magnay, Duncan Paia’aua, Henry Taefu, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Karmichael Hunt, Chris Kuridrani, Lachlan Maranta, Jayden Ngamanu, Eto Nabuli, Izaia Perese

BEST XV: Karmichael Hunt, Izaia Perese, Campbell Magnay, Samu Kerevi, Eto Nabuli, Quade Cooper, Nick Frisby, Scott Higginbotham, George Smith, Hendrik Tui, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Taniela Tupou, Stephen Moore, James Slipper

VERDICT: There has been huge turnover at Ballymore and rookie coach Nick Stiles will be able to lean on the vast experience of Stephen Moore, George Smith, Scott Higginbotham and Quade Cooper in 2016.

It is undoubtedly a stronger squad on paper than last season and youngsters Izaia Perese, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou and Andrew Ready have immense potential.

Australia’s big movers next year.

ODDS (UBet): $34


FORCE

INS: Ben Daley (Reds), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs), Richie Arnold (development squad), Ben Matwijow (Reds), Isi Naisarani (Brisbane City), Michael Ruru (Perth Spirit), Bill Meakes (Gloucester), Chance Peni (Wests Tigers), Robbie Coleman (Brumbies), Curtis Rona (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

OUTS: Chris Heiberg (Southern Kings), Ollie Hoskins (London Irish), Guy Millar (Highlanders), Nathan Charles (Clermont), Steve Mafi (Castres), Rory Walton (Carcassonne), Chris Al[removed] (Brumbies), Alby Mathewson (Canterbury), Kyle Godwin (Brumbies), Ben Tapuai (Bath), Junior Rasolea (Edinburgh)

2017 SQUAD: Jermaine Ainsley, Pek Cowan, Ben Daley, Tetera [removed]ner, Francois van Wyk, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Anaru Rangi, Richie Arnold, Adam Coleman, Ben Matwijow, Matt Philip, Angus Cottrell, Richard Hardwick, Ross Haylett-Petty, Matt Hodgson, Brynard Stander, Ben McCalman, Isi Naisarani, Ryan Louwrens, Ian Prior, Michael Ruru, Peter Grant, Jono Lance, Luke Burton, Bill Meakes, Chance Peni, Marcel Brache, Robbie Coleman, Semisi Masirewa, Luke Morahan, Curtis Rona, Dane Haylett-Petty

BEST XV: Dane Haylett-Petty, Luke Morahan, Bill Meakes, Robbie Coleman, Curtis Rona, Jono Lance, Ian Prior, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson, Angus Cottrell, Adam Coleman, Ben Matwijow, Pek Cowan, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ben Daley

VERDICT: The surprise signing of Tatafu Polota-Nau — on the back of Perth Spirit’s National Rugby Championship victory — has lifted spirits out west.

The Force’s future is cloudy at best beyond 2017 but they at least look like they’ll be competitive under rookie coach Dave Wessels.

Rising Wallabies Dane Haylett-Petty and Adam Coleman must stay fit, however.

ODDS (UBet): $201



NEW ZEALAND

HURRICANES


INS: Toa Halafihi (Taranaki), Jordie Barrett (Canterbury), Kylem O’Donnell (Taranaki), Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wellington), Ben Lam (Blues), Sam Lousi (Waratahs), Reed Prinsep (Crusaders)

OUTS: James Blackwell (released), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), Tony Lamborn (released), Willis Halaholo (Cardiff), Iopu Iopu-Aso (released), James Marshall (London Irish), Motu Matu’u (Gloucester), Hisa Sagai (released), TJ Va’a (injured), Victor Vito (La Rochelle), Jason Woodward (Bristol)

2017 SQUAD: Chris Eves, Reggie Goodes, Ben May, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Loni Uhila, Mike Kainga, Dane Coles, Leni Apisai, Ricky Ricciteli, Mark Abbott, James Broadhurst, Geoff Cridge, Michael Fatialofa, Sam Lousi, Callum Gibbins, Vaea Fifita, Reed Prinsep, Hugh Renton, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Blade Thomson, Toa Halafihi, TJ Perenara, Te Toiria Tahuiorangi, Kylem O’Donnell, Beauden Barrett, Otere Black, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Matt Proctor, Pita Ahki, Wes Goosen, Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Ben Lam, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jordie Barrett

BEST XV: Nehe Milner-Skudder, Cory Jane, Matt Proctor, Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Brad Shields, Ardie Savea, Vaea Fifita, James Broadhurst, Michael Fatialofa, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Reggie Goodes

VERDICT: The defending champs look very strong again despite losing Victor Vito, James Marshall, Jason Woodward and Willis Halaholo to foreign shores.

Exciting outside back Nehe Milner-Skudder is fit again after recovering from shoulder surgery while the Canes also beat the Crusaders to the prized signature of Jordie Barrett — the younger brother of Beauden.

Blues winger Ben Lam and Waratahs lock Sam Lousi are also handy pick-ups.

ODDS (UBet): $5.50

Tevita Li gets a pass away during the Super Rugby trial match between the Waratahs and Blues.
Tevita Li gets a pass away during the Super Rugby trial match between the Waratahs and Blues.
Source: News Limited

HIGHLANDERS

INS: Tevita Li (Blues), Guy Millar (Force), Siate Tokolahi (Chiefs), Aki Seiuli (Otago), Josh Renton (Otago), Kayne Hammington (Manawatu), Josh [removed]son (Otago)

OUTS: Ross Geldenhuys (released), Mark Reddish (Harlequins), Brendon Edmonds (injured), Fumiaki Tanaka (Panasonic Wild Knights), Ryan Tongia (Bayonne), Marty Banks (Benetton Treviso), Jack Wilson (Bath)

2017 SQUAD: Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Guy Millar, Siate Tokolahi, Aki Seiuli, Craig Millar, Tom Franklin, Joe Wheeler, Alex Ainley, Josh [removed]son, Jackson Hemopo, Luke Whitelock, Liam Squire, James Lentjes, Gareth Evans, Dan Pryor, Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon, Aaron Smith, Kayne Hammington, Josh Renton, Lima Sopoaga, Hayden Parker, Fletcher Smith, Rob Thompson, Patelesio Tomkinson, Teihorangi Walden, Richard Buckman, Matt Faddes, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Patrick Osborne, Tevita Li, Jason Emery, Ben Smith

BEST XV: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Matt Faddes, Malakai Fekitoa, Tevita Li, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Liam Squire, Shane Christie, Elliot Dixon, Tom Franklin, Joe Wheeler, Siosuia Halanukonuka, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown

VERDICT: New coach Tony Brown has a relatively settled squad to work with after taking the reins from now Japan boss Jamie Joseph.

Exciting Blues winger Tevita Li is the most eye-catching acquisition and he will compete with Patrick Osborne for a starting spot.

Cult halfback Fumiaki Tanaka (Panasonic Wild Knights) will be missed.

ODDS (UBet): $6.50



CHIEFS

INS: Kane Hames (Tasman), Sefo Kautai (Waikato), Liam Polwart (Bay of Plenty), Mitchell Brown (Taranaki), Lachlan Boshier (Taranaki), Liam Messam (Sevens), Finlay Christie (Tasman), Johnny Fa’auli (Taranaki), Tim Nanai-Williams (Ricoh Black Rams), Solomon Alaimalo (Northland)

OUTS: Pauliasi Manu (Blues), Siate Tokolahi (Highlanders), Hiroshi Yama[removed]a (Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers), Rhys Marshall (Munster), Johan Bardoul (Yamaha Jubilo), Sam Henwood (released), Tevita Koloamatangi (released), Ma’ama Vaipulu (Leinster), Augustine Pulu (Blues), Kayne Hammington (Highlanders), Andrew Horrell (Coca-Cola Red Sparks), Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders), Latu Vaeno (released), Sam Vaka (released)

2017 SQUAD: Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Mitchell Graham, Kane Hames, Sefo Kautai, Nepo Laulala, Atu Moli, Hika Elliot, Nathan Harris, Liam Polwart, Michael Allardice, Dominic Bird, Brodie Retallick, James Tucker, Mitchell Brown, Lachlan Boshier, Sam Cane, Mitchell Karpik, Michael Leitch, Liam Messam, Tom Sanders, Taleni Seu, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Finlay Christie, Brad Weber, Aaron Cruden, Stephen Donald, Damian McKenzie, Johnny Fa’auli, Anton Lienert-Brown, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Solomon Alaimalo, Glen Fisiiahi, James Lowe, Sam McNicol, Toni Pulu, Shaun Stevenson, Chase Tiatia

BEST XV: Damian McKenzie, Tim Nanai-Williams, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Michael Leitch, Sam Cane, Liam Messam, Dominic Bird, Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Nathan Harris, Kane Hames

VERDICT: A lot of turnover as per usual for the Chiefs as Dave Rennie prepares for his last season in charge before moving to Glasgow.

Liam Messam is back after a year playing sevens while excitement machine Tim Nanai-Williams complements an already potent backline.

Seta Tamanivalu and Augustine Pulu are the highest profile departures but the Chiefs are well stocked in the centres and at halfback — provided Charlie Ngatai can overcome his concussion troubles.

ODDS (UBet): $6


CRUSADERS

INS: Tim Bateman (Coca-Cola Red Sparks), Digby Ioane (Honda Heat), Seta Tamanivalu (Chiefs), Bryn Hall (Blues), Oliver Jager (Canterbury), Andrew Makalio (Tasman), Quinten Strange (Tasman), Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Manawatu), Mitchell Dunshea (Canterbury), Jack Goodhue (Canterbury), Jed Brown (Canterbury), George Bridge (Canterbury), Manasa Mataele (Taranaki)

OUTS: Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets), Nemani Nadolo (Montpellier), Alex Hodgman (Blues), Jimmy Tupou (Blues), Tim Boys (released), Kieron Fonotia (Ospreys), Andrew Ellis (Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers), Reed Prinsep (Hurricanes), Robbie Fruean (Bath), Ben Volavola (released), Ged Robinson (retired)

2017 SQUAD: Michael Alaalatoa, Wyatt Crockett, Oliver Jager, Joe Moody, Tim Perry, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Andrew Makalio, Codie Taylor, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Sam Whitelock, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Jed Brown, Mitchell Dunshea, Kieran Read, Pete Samu, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Mitchell Drummond, Leon [removed]o[removed]a, Bryn Hall, Tim Bateman, Marty McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Sean Wainui, George Bridge, Israel Dagg, Sione Fifita, Mitchell Hunt, Digby Ioane, Jone Macilai, Manasa Mataele

BEST XV: Israel Dagg, Jone Macilai, Seta Tamanivalu, Ryan Crotty, Digby Ioane, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody

VERDICT: New coach Scott Robertson arrives high on confidence after winning yet another Mitre 10 Cup ***le with Canterbury.

Former Reds and Wallabies star Digby Ioane is the big-name signing and will slot straight onto the wing for Nemani Nadolo.

Backs Seta Tamanivalu, Tim Bateman and Bryn Hall are other notable arrivals while young lock Quinten Strange and outside backs Jack Goodhue and George Bridge are also highly rated.

ODDS (UBet): $6.50


BLUES

INS: Alex Hodgman (Crusaders), Pauliasi Manu (Chiefs), Epalahame Faiva (Waikato), Josh Goodhue (Northland), Brandon Nansen (North Harbour), Murphy Taramai (North Harbour), Jimmy Tupou (Crusaders), Augustine Pulu (Chiefs), Michael Collins (Otago), Sonny Bill Williams (Sevens), Declan O’Donnell (Taranaki), Stephen Perofeta (Taranaki)

OUTS: Nic Mayhew (Brumbies), Namatahi Waa (released), Josh Bekhuis (Lyon), Hoani Matenga (released), Joe Edwards (released), Tanerau Latimer (Bayonne), Jack Ram (released), Bryn Hall (Crusaders), Matt McGahan (released), Male Sa’u (Yamaha Jubilo), Afa Fa’atau (released), Ben Lam (Hurricanes), Tevita Li (Highlanders), Michael Little (released), Lolagi Visinia (released)

2017 SQUAD: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Epalahame Faiva, Charlie Faumuina, Blake Gibson, Josh Goodhue, Alex Hodgman, Akira Ioane, Jerome Kaino, Steven Luatua, Sione Mafileo, Pauliasi Manu, Matt Moulds, Brandon Nansen, James Parsons, Sam Prattley, Kara Pryor, Scott Scrafton, Murphy Taramai, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jimmy Tupou, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, TJ Faiane, Billy Guyton, Rieko Ioane, Matt Vaega, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Sam Nock, Declan O’Donnell, Stephen Perofeta, Augustine Pulu, Rene Ranger, Jordon Trainor, Ihaia West, Sonny Bill Williams, Piers Francis

BEST XV: Melani Nanai, Rieko Ioane, George Moala, Sonny Bill Williams, Rene Ranger, Ihaia West, Augustine Pulu, Akira Ioane, Blake Gibson, Steven Luatua, Jerome Kaino, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, James Parsons, Charlie Faumuina

VERDICT: Coach Tana Umaga would have been grimacing when star signing Sonny Bill Williams ruptured his Achilles at the Rio Olympics.

But SBW is diligent in his rehab and Umaga has picked up a few other goodies in Pauliasi Manu, Jimmy Tupou and Augustine Pulu.

Expect the Ioane brothers and Melani Nanai to light up the competition.

ODDS (UBet): $23

Fox Sport
 

Makos

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Oct 25, 2016
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New Zealand

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Tasman

Once again the NZ conference is going to be *** for tat. That Blues backline is pretty scary. In saying that every side has an unbelievable starting XV right from 1 through to 15. Incredible depth and strength on display here.
 

Woldog

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Reds

Reds have a straight fire squad on paper. Probably have a straight rubbish team on the day :(
 

galumay

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Nov 26, 2016
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Australia

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Waratahs

Still looks to be a huge gulf between the NZ teams and the Oz ones, only the conference system will see any Oz teams make it to the finals IMO. I will be cheering on the Tahs here and the Chiefs over the ditch. Until we see strucutural changes in Super Rugby with less Oz teams I cant see the local franchises being strong enough to challenge for the ***le.
 

auzziedave

Academy Player
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Dec 18, 2007
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7
Wow... is a ll I can say. Just watched the Tahs v Highlanders trial match. Yes, it was a trial but man did the Highlanders look good....so slick in the backline, and both Smith's carved up.
 
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