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All blacks squad 2020

Umaga's Witness

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Ian Foster is set to name His first all blacks squad at 11am NZ time today. As far as I can tell, no indication had been given on how big the squad will be. But it will probably be fairly large.

props

it will be interesting what the philosophy is regarding props. Will they choose strong scrummagers or players who are good around the field. Certainly it was the latter that took prominence following our loss to Ireland and foster may still see that as paramount. It is taavao who will be in or out based on this philosophy. And given neither mafileo made the north or south squads one must suspect that scrummaging alone isn’t enough. On the other hand big Karl started for the north, and Alex hodgman whose work rate is huge didn’t make the 23 for the south.

I suspect three specialist loosies and three specialist tightheads will be picked with one extra player who can play on either side.

Moody, laulala, and tu’ungafasi are definites. At least one of bower and O’Neill are likely to make it as the strongest contenders for playing either side. I can’t remember how bad O’Neills injury was, perhaps he is not in contention.

My prediction is Moody, Karl, hodgman, ofa, laulala, lomax, bower.

locks

no retallick, Parkinson, barret, Dickson.

It will be very interesting whether they try and fill the gap with the best available or whether they try and develop for the future. Scrafton and Dunshea may be the best gap fillers, but Vaa’I and selby rickit may be better bets for the future. Quentin strange might be somewhere in the middle. I don’t see them picking anyone outside those 5. Apart from whitelock and Tuipulotu who are certainties, not needing to be mentioned. Vaa’I played well in the north vs south match. I think they will pick at least one of Scrafton and strange, for relative prowess in the line outs. And one of Vaa’I and selby rickit.

my prediction is Whitelock, Tuipulotu, strange, vaai

loosies

a lot to choose from here. It’s not necessarily the hardest area to pick, but it certainly is the area where a lot of great players will miss out. They will want to ensure they have the right mix of ball runners, Defenders, ruck experts, and lineout options.

cane, savea, sotutu, frizell are all certainties. From there perhaps they look at what happens if one of them is injured prior to the game, how do they ensure they maintain he right balance. If cane is injured papalii comes Onto the bench. If savea is injured, probably the same, though they’d be lacking a good 8 option if sotutu we’re going to get injured during the game. If sotutu is injured, maybe papalii is still the best option to come onto the bench, but possibly Akira ione is. If frizell is injured, the best option is probably cullen grace to come into the reserves, for lineout cover. So, if they were to pick 5, papalii would Probably be the addition. If they were to pick 6, maybe we need to consider concurrent injuries in the 5. If the two first choice sides were injured, frizell and savea, papalii would slot in at 6 and you’d want a 6 8 option on the bench. That’s Akira. If The two best seven options were injured, cane and savea, papalii would slot in at 7, You’d need someone who could cover 7 on the bench, maybe Tom Christie Or Lachlan Boshier is who they’d look at. If the best two 8 options were injured, sotutu and savea, they’d bring in an 8 to start and papalii would stay on the bench. That’s Akira. But if your best two lineout options are injured, sotutu and frizell, I think they’d want Cullen grace to start. Or, Quentin strange is used as a versatile lock blindside option. Boshier is also strong in the lineout. Tricky.

My prediction is cane, savea, frizell, papalii, sotutu, Akira, Christie

halfback

I’m not convinced brad Weber has played very well this year, but he was great last year. I don’t know what happened to ttt and there appears to be no one else in contention so this selection is a no brainer

my prediction is smith Perenara weber

first five

Beauden and mounga are certainties. Then comes the question of whether they pick anyone else, or just rely on Jordie, Damian, and tj to back up. Josh ione is surely next in line.

my prediction is mounga barret ione

midfield

Laumape is injured. Lienert brown, ione, and goodhue will make it. They then need a fourth, which will be between umaga Jensen and Braydon ennor. The crusaders struggled at times to get enough punch with the goodhue ennor combination, but ennor has great vision and probably the best conventional pass out of all the contenders. With the fullback coming into the line in fosters style the passing game becomes less important, but it is still a handy asset given the current mix if players being more offloaders than conventional passers. They might also be thinking it would be good to give Jordie some time in the midfield as a way of getting mounga, McKenzie, Beauden, and Jordie all On the field at the same time. The other contender is Leicester faingaanuku, who has more experience on the wing but who these selectors may see as a midfield option for the future. Especially as they know Laumape is to return at some point, there thinking might be long term. Umaga Jensen has been sensational this year though.

my prediction is lienert-brown ione goodhue umaga-Jensen

outside backs

I think they pick 6 here, just because it’s too hard to leave anyone out

my prediction is goodhue reece Clarke Jordan Jordie McKenzie
 

Al Bangor

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Take the best of those ruggers from last night's North v South game and they'll kick anyone's arse. I guarantee it.
 
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Larksea

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Squad named:

All Blacks squad:
Hookers
: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor. Props: Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi. Locks: Quinten Strange, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Whitelock. Loose forwards: Sam Cane (capt), Shannon Frizell, Cullen Grace, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu. Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber. First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga. Midfielders: Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown. Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Caleb Clarke, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece.

I didn't see much of SRA so I cant comment on the form there. have some comments on the game though
Damian McKenzie looked the best of the 10's on display last night. He caused chaos on attack, try assists, line break assists, crazy runs, a try, great goal kicking. Was a short period of time which was a good reminder of how well DMAC and Beauden work together. Been a while since we've seen that combo.
Brad Weber looked the best of the 9's, maybe he had the most to prove to secure his spot but he was excellent. The speed he cleared the ball was fantastic. That power and determination with the carry that basically setup laulala's try was awesome. In contrast Smith was so slow at times. There was one point in the 2nd half when the north was hot on attack and smith picked the ball up, turned and then for no reason at all did a double pump pass. By the time it landed the defence was right there with the ball it got messy and south won a turnover. Its a moment you can point at and say was a flat out unforced mistake by smith that maybe cost the game. Crazy crazy stuff.
Clarke Looks a real talent, that brain explosion he made to give away a try is a worry. He needs to learn that test rugby is not a stage for that sort of play but the potential is there.
Jordie Barrett had a really good showing, lots of discussion on him vs. McKenzie but they are such different players. I think the form Jordie is in may see him better used at 14, McKenzie at 15. McKenzie is still a devastating bench option too.
Sotutu is the real deal
Tom Sanders looked very good for a while, I do like Papalii though
Ardie Savea had a very very busy game, he was mostly contained but did manage a couple of big moments in the 2nd half
Very green looking loose forward mix outside Cane & Savea. Really need a couple of these new guys to step up and become world class. The mix will be interesting, I still think Savea is best off the bench as a super sub. Cane is so important at the start of games winning the gain line battle and weathering any early storms as probably the best tackler in the world and I don't think having both on the field is a good mix, we lose a lineout option and that is more important now with Read gone.

bit messy in the forwards, the south choosing to maul a lot was a big factor in the game and was maybe the counter to The hot attack that McKenzie offered for the north. Hard to really judge the tight 5's without a closer look and a stats sheet.

Cant say this was a meaningless game, this was an amazing match played at an awesome intensity at great speed. This was high quality test match intensity. Great watching. I cant think of any players that didn't look like they deserved to be there. They all looked like they could be called into play test footy if required. Sure the biggest brain explosion goes to Clarke but I'm pretty sure he also topped the running meters and looked dangerous. Other than that what needs a close look is the crazy meaningless penalties the north gave away. They took themselves out of the game for long periods for no reason. I think if the teams played again the north would be favorites and you would think they would find some discipline and not give away so many penalties.
 
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Umaga's Witness

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Squad named:

All Blacks squad:
Hookers
: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor. Props: Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi. Locks: Quinten Strange, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Whitelock. Loose forwards: Sam Cane (capt), Shannon Frizell, Cullen Grace, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu. Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber. First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga. Midfielders: Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown. Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Caleb Clarke, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece.

I didn't see much of SRA so I cant comment on the form there. have some comments on the game though
Damian McKenzie looked the best of the 10's on display last night. He caused chaos on attack, try assists, line break assists, crazy runs, a try, great goal kicking. Was a short period of time which was a good reminder of how well DMAC and Beauden work together. Been a while since we've seen that combo.
Brad Weber looked the best of the 9's, maybe he had the most to prove to secure his spot but he was excellent. The speed he cleared the ball was fantastic. That power and determination with the carry that basically setup laulala's try was awesome. In contrast Smith was so slow at times. There was one point in the 2nd half when the north was hot on attack and smith picked the ball up, turned and then for no reason at all did a double pump pass. By the time it landed the defence was right there with the ball it got messy and south won a turnover. Its a moment you can point at and say was a flat out unforced mistake by smith that maybe cost the game. Crazy crazy stuff.
Clarke Looks a real talent, that brain explosion he made to give away a try is a worry. He needs to learn that test rugby is not a stage for that sort of play but the potential is there.
Jordie Barrett had a really good showing, lots of discussion on him vs. McKenzie but they are such different players. I think the form Jordie is in may see him better used at 14, McKenzie at 15. McKenzie is still a devastating bench option too.
Sotutu is the real deal
Tom Sanders looked very good for a while, I do like Papalii though
Ardie Savea had a very very busy game, he was mostly contained but did manage a couple of big moments in the 2nd half
Very green looking loose forward mix outside Cane & Savea. Really need a couple of these new guys to step up and become world class. The mix will be interesting, I still think Savea is best off the bench as a super sub. Cane is so important at the start of games winning the gain line battle and weathering any early storms as probably the best tackler in the world and I don't think having both on the field is a good mix, we lose a lineout option and that is more important now with Read gone.

bit messy in the forwards, the south choosing to maul a lot was a big factor in the game and was maybe the counter to The hot attack that McKenzie offered for the north. Hard to really judge the tight 5's without a closer look and a stats sheet.

Cant say this was a meaningless game, this was an amazing match played at an awesome intensity at great speed. This was high quality test match intensity. Great watching. I cant think of any players that didn't look like they deserved to be there. They all looked like they could be called into play test footy if required. Sure the biggest brain explosion goes to Clarke but I'm pretty sure he also topped the running meters and looked dangerous. Other than that what needs a close look is the crazy meaningless penalties the north gave away. They took themselves out of the game for long periods for no reason. I think if the teams played again the north would be favorites and you would think they would find some discipline and not give away so many penalties.
Welcome back.

I can tell you that Aaron smith had Imo his very best super rugby season, which is a big surprise given he has been going seriously backwards for some years. And Weber has probably his worst season, but the chiefs all round were pretty awful. Certainly Damian may not have made the all blacks squad base on super rugby Form alone, but he got there due to being the best in the north south game (him and Ardie who, when you include rips, got 5 turnovers) and of course he has been historically awesome.

so, no bower despite being picked ahead of hidgman for the south. Glad hodgman is there though, that’s the important thing.

no surprises in the team, wasn’t exactly as I predicted with ennor and grace making it but I knew they were in contention and can see the reasons they are there.
 

Kiwiwomble

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Seriously though...what game is this a squad for? No one else thinks this is weird to name a squad without a confirmed game?
 

Umaga's Witness

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Seriously though...what game is this a squad for? No one else thinks this is weird to name a squad without a confirmed game?
Yeah. Pretty weird. Last resort I reckon they should give Scott Robertson the chance to pick a 23 out of players not in this squad and play them against the all blacks.

bower. T mafileo
Dixon. Eklund
Taavao. S mafileo
Scrafton
Dunshea. Cowley-tuioti
Boshier
D Hunt
Mikaele tuu. Jacobson
Ttt. Fakatawa
J ione. Black
nareki
Aso. Faiane
Umaga-jensen
Telea
M hunt

not bad really.
 

GoTheNaki

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Seriously though...what game is this a squad for? No one else thinks this is weird to name a squad without a confirmed game?
I think they're looking at playing Aussie 4 times.

Welcome back.

I can tell you that Aaron smith had Imo his very best super rugby season, which is a big surprise given he has been going seriously backwards for some years. And Weber has probably his worst season, but the chiefs all round were pretty awful. Certainly Damian may not have made the all blacks squad base on super rugby Form alone, but he got there due to being the best in the north south game (him and Ardie who, when you include rips, got 5 turnovers) and of course he has been historically awesome.

so, no bower despite being picked ahead of hidgman for the south. Glad hodgman is there though, that’s the important thing.

no surprises in the team, wasn’t exactly as I predicted with ennor and grace making it but I knew they were in contention and can see the reasons they are there.
I think for the first time in a lot of years... Aaron Smith was clearly the best halfback.


For me, Richie Mo'unga has to start for us... He ALWAYS shows up. Big games, ALWAYS. Finals? Always. I have seen too many big games where Beauden Barrett hasn't shown up and then he's had 30 seconds where he has scored and everyone praises him. He didn't show up vs the Highlanders when Lima Sopoaga outplayed him, he didn't show up vs the Lions and did something right at the end in that game and everyone forgot. Someone tell me something "memorable" that he has done since the run through vs Australia in the 2015 WC Final... I mean, it is easy to criticize, he was very influential to the Blues, but when compared to what Mo'unga did, literally DRAGGING his team back into games, some amazing plays this year... It would be hard for me to listen to anyone suggest Barrett over Mo'unga at #10, and he is having increasing trouble holding onto the space at #15 with his own brother and McKenzie, even Will Jordan will have to choose a position before the World Cup, and it will probably be fullback.

But someone had the discussion with me over how the All Blacks might be thinking about the future of the sport, and besides #10... they might be looking at any of the backs can play any position, more so than how we've been experimenting in the forwards with #4 to #8. We could be looking at a fluid back-line where it entirely depends on what play the #10 wants to run.
 

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In my opinion, what the All Blacks must do in order to top the rugby world again is to stop selecting/playing people on past merits/out of position and start picking again based purely on form and in respect of the player's preferred positions. Of course, the foregone conclusion of appointing Ian Foster in the first place was not a positive sign in this respect, but the current coaching staff deserves at least the chance of proving its capabilities at this level. After all, no other nation has access to such a massive pool of native talents.
 

Umaga's Witness

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In my opinion, what the All Blacks must do in order to top the rugby world again is to stop selecting/playing people on past merits/out of position and start picking again based purely on form and in respect of the player's preferred positions. Of course, the foregone conclusion of appointing Ian Foster in the first place was not a positive sign in this respect, but the current coaching staff deserves at least the chance of proving its capabilities at this level. After all, no other nation has access to such a massive pool of native talents.
how does that apply this year? On form, and only choosing specialists (Based on the positions they played in during super rugby), the backline might be
Smith
Mounga
Bridge
Lienert brown
Umaga jensen
Reece
J barret
By trying to get all the top players on the field we might have
Smith
Mounga
Beauden
Jordie
Lienert-Brown
Jordan
Mckenzie
Or, relying on proven records At test level But playing players in position we might have
Smith
Beauden
Ione
Lienert brown
Giodhue
Reece
? Jordie has had a poor test career. McKenzie has been up and down. So probably McKenzie because there is no one else Except barret, but he’s a ten.

I wouldn’t pick any of those options. But I do sympathise with each approach. It’s pretty hard to leave Beauden out, for example. Or McKenzie, or Jordie. Or mounga. Can you fit All 4 in to your 23, without playing them out of position?
Perhaps you start with mounga and Jordie, and have Beauden and McKenzie on the bench. Would you agree that Jordan is adept in the wing?
Maybe you have something like
Smith
Mounga
bridge
Lienert brown
Ione
Jordan
Jordie
With tj, Beauden, and McKenzie on the reserves.

Personally, I have a bit of a different philosophy to most. I want my cool under pressure players playing at the end. So I’d swap it around to have mounga and Jordie finishing the game (yeah, jordie seems to have matured that much)

I agree form should play a big role, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it plays a lesser role given what happened at the World Cup. in the World Cup semi, with the exception of leaving out cane, form took precedence. Each player selected was there because they were the form player in their position. You could say that, individually, each was the right choice. But collectively we lacked experience. There are also the factors of super rugby form not being the best indicator of test Ability, and the need to build combinations.

For instance, Damian McKenzie was the best player in the north south game but, if they didn’t play that game, wouldn’t have made the squad in form alone. And nonu would almost never have made the all blacks in super rugby form.

Or, if you Are saying you should pick on form from tests, Then you would have to give different players a chance to prove themselves In Tests, Instead of just trying to pick your best 15. Personally I want to win all tests, I’m not one with a World Cup is the only thing that matters mindset. You also need to build combinations.

on your other point, with regard to playing people out of position, it’s a tough one too. Playing Cullen at centre was a massive mistake. Since then, if ever someone was playing out of position When we lost a game it was seen as the reason We lost. What should we have done in 1999? I don’t think the answer was to leave one of our 4 form (Irony not intended) players out, i think they should have played umaga at centre (if you think about how quickly he took to that role in the following years). Similarly, McDonald at centre in 2003 was the wrong move, as muliaina could have played there (was always a brilliant and natural centre). And in 2007, muliaina at centre was the right call, we lost that game for other reasons (mostly we couldn’t handle the pressure, And we had a Player sin binNed). Although, I can see the argument for Conrad, but I remember the team they picked for that game was my preferred team (and was definitely based on form too).
What about Beauden playing at fullback last year, how do you assess that? He was out of position, but mounga was probably considered the form ten, and Beauden was probably considered the best fifteen we had available. They could have picked bender, as the specialist fifteen, but his form wasn’t very good.
 

Kiwiwomble

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with out game scheduled i would have liked to see a team picked purely on form,,,why select cane when he's injured for a hypothetical squad...why not give the nod to one of the guys that have really performed knowing you can just change it when a game is announced

the way theyve done it its become more about knocking down some people rather than building them up
 

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I think super rugby form as most armchair selectors see it means less in the eyes of the selectors.
I think they look at stats and identify specific skills, traits and attributes they are looking for. They will have speed, strength and endurance test stats as well. Then from that they will focus in on specific players and follow their positioning and see how they handle specific situations.
Its a bit of an artform picking worthy players in under-performing teams. Look at the chiefs they just didn't fire this year under Gatland. Does that mean that players like ALB, Weber and DMAC are all of a sudden not worthy because they looked below par at times in a struggling side? I think the north vs South game showed that isn't the case. Then there is the case of the dominant Robbie Deans Crusaders team that then became almost the full all black test side and ended up being pretty average side. That kinda became lesson that its not just about picking the best players from the best team. That team lacked some key players from other sides that could have made it a better test team.

On another note, sucks to see Ennor is out for the year... not replaced at this stage.
 

Kiwiwomble

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I think super rugby form as most armchair selectors see it means less in the eyes of the selectors.
I think they look at stats and identify specific skills, traits and attributes they are looking for. They will have speed, strength and endurance test stats as well. Then from that they will focus in on specific players and follow their positioning and see how they handle specific situations.
Its a bit of an artform picking worthy players in under-performing teams. Look at the chiefs they just didn't fire this year under Gatland. Does that mean that players like ALB, Weber and DMAC are all of a sudden not worthy because they looked below par at times in a struggling side? I think the north vs South game showed that isn't the case. Then there is the case of the dominant Robbie Deans Crusaders team that then became almost the full all black test side and ended up being pretty average side. That kinda became lesson that its not just about picking the best players from the best team. That team lacked some key players from other sides that could have made it a better test team.

On another note, sucks to see Ennor is out for the year... not replaced at this stage.
if true i think its something the coaches could do some more explaining with the fans, a bit of engagement

i look at my football team and our manager comes out and just says things like "we had really good stats with crosses from the right but not with the left, of the crosses we did get on target we had poor conversion. So, we're actively recruiting a left footed midfielder and a targetman" this is paraphrasing the actual message we got over the summer, easily explained why we had sold the fast attacking left sided midfielder we all loved

i see similar messages from the AFL team i follow
 

Larksea

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if true i think its something the coaches could do some more explaining with the fans, a bit of engagement

i look at my football team and our manager comes out and just says things like "we had really good stats with crosses from the right but not with the left, of the crosses we did get on target we had poor conversion. So, we're actively recruiting a left footed midfielder and a targetman" this is paraphrasing the actual message we got over the summer, easily explained why we had sold the fast attacking left sided midfielder we all loved

i see similar messages from the AFL team i follow
The selectors do give hints like that at times but at the same time they are the All Blacks and they do like to keep their ideas and methods close to their chests. It could give hits towards potential game plans and tactics.
 

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how does that apply this year? On form, and only choosing specialists (Based on the positions they played in during super rugby), the backline might be
Smith
Mounga
Bridge
Lienert brown
Umaga jensen
Reece
J barret
By trying to get all the top players on the field we might have
Smith
Mounga
Beauden
Jordie
Lienert-Brown
Jordan
Mckenzie
Or, relying on proven records At test level But playing players in position we might have
Smith
Beauden
Ione
Lienert brown
Giodhue
Reece
? Jordie has had a poor test career. McKenzie has been up and down. So probably McKenzie because there is no one else Except barret, but he’s a ten.

I wouldn’t pick any of those options. But I do sympathise with each approach. It’s pretty hard to leave Beauden out, for example. Or McKenzie, or Jordie. Or mounga. Can you fit All 4 in to your 23, without playing them out of position?
Perhaps you start with mounga and Jordie, and have Beauden and McKenzie on the bench. Would you agree that Jordan is adept in the wing?
Maybe you have something like
Smith
Mounga
bridge
Lienert brown
Ione
Jordan
Jordie
With tj, Beauden, and McKenzie on the reserves.

Personally, I have a bit of a different philosophy to most. I want my cool under pressure players playing at the end. So I’d swap it around to have mounga and Jordie finishing the game (yeah, jordie seems to have matured that much)

I agree form should play a big role, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it plays a lesser role given what happened at the World Cup. in the World Cup semi, with the exception of leaving out cane, form took precedence. Each player selected was there because they were the form player in their position. You could say that, individually, each was the right choice. But collectively we lacked experience. There are also the factors of super rugby form not being the best indicator of test Ability, and the need to build combinations.

For instance, Damian McKenzie was the best player in the north south game but, if they didn’t play that game, wouldn’t have made the squad in form alone. And nonu would almost never have made the all blacks in super rugby form.

Or, if you Are saying you should pick on form from tests, Then you would have to give different players a chance to prove themselves In Tests, Instead of just trying to pick your best 15. Personally I want to win all tests, I’m not one with a World Cup is the only thing that matters mindset. You also need to build combinations.

on your other point, with regard to playing people out of position, it’s a tough one too. Playing Cullen at centre was a massive mistake. Since then, if ever someone was playing out of position When we lost a game it was seen as the reason We lost. What should we have done in 1999? I don’t think the answer was to leave one of our 4 form (Irony not intended) players out, i think they should have played umaga at centre (if you think about how quickly he took to that role in the following years). Similarly, McDonald at centre in 2003 was the wrong move, as muliaina could have played there (was always a brilliant and natural centre). And in 2007, muliaina at centre was the right call, we lost that game for other reasons (mostly we couldn’t handle the pressure, And we had a Player sin binNed). Although, I can see the argument for Conrad, but I remember the team they picked for that game was my preferred team (and was definitely based on form too).
What about Beauden playing at fullback last year, how do you assess that? He was out of position, but mounga was probably considered the form ten, and Beauden was probably considered the best fifteen we had available. They could have picked bender, as the specialist fifteen, but his form wasn’t very good.
Laumape was the in-form centre last season, and didn't get picked, and ultimately impact runners were a huge part in why we were getting shutdown by fast line speed. Let's not talk about R. Ioane who was a winger "coz he fast" when his preferred position was in the centres too. I also don't think ALB has been a top2 centre for the last two seasons, there have been better. His defence is good, and that is why he is chosen, much like Goodhue, but you cannot start both. Who's afraid of a centres pairing of Goodhue/ALB? Pff, no-one.

But what you're talking about touches on what I mentioned. I feel they might try to revolutionise the back-line by filling it with people who can play multiple roles. But I don't know if this will make NZ successful, would you rather have typically the best fullback in the world playing at 15... Or the second best #10...

Example:

Jordan - Fullback/Wing/Centre
R. Ioane - Wing/Centre
J. Barrett - Fullback/Centre/Wing/10
B. Barrett - 10/Fullback/Centre
Ennor - Centre/Wing

Etc. Etc. Personally, I would have Smith, Mo'unga, Bridge, Goodhue, Ioane, Reece, B. Barrett... If you wanted to win a game on the weekend.

What do you do with McKenzie/Jordie/Jordan though... There is almost a case there for McKenzie or Jordie to start at 15 now... But in 3 years time just before the World Cup? Beauden will be at least 32... Do you give them time now, or hope that he's alright or hasn't gone overseas... You cannot phase him out, he's too good right now, but will that hurt us at the next World Cup, inexperience hurt us last time. We had 4 years to get a centre pairing and the coaches faffed around. Ultimately I think we'll lose Barrett overseas before the next WC, do you worry about that now or in 2023... Start Jordie or McKenzie, have Beauden on the bench for purely 10 cover, have Jordan for fullback and wing cover orrrr.... Yeah this is not going to be easy..
 
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Umaga's Witness

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Laumape was the in-form centre last season, and didn't get picked, and ultimately impact runners were a huge part in why we were getting shutdown by fast line speed. Let's not talk about R. Ioane who was a winger "coz he fast" when his preferred position was in the centres too. I also don't think ALB has been a top2 centre for the last two seasons, there have been better. His defence is good, and that is why he is chosen, much like Goodhue, but you cannot start both. Who's afraid of a centres pairing of Goodhue/ALB? Pff, no-one.

But what you're talking about touches on what I mentioned. I feel they might try to revolutionise the back-line by filling it with people who can play multiple roles. But I don't know if this will make NZ successful, would you rather have typically the best fullback in the world playing at 15... Or the second best #10...

Example:

Jordan - Fullback/Wing/Centre
R. Ioane - Wing/Centre
J. Barrett - Fullback/Centre/Wing/10
B. Barrett - 10/Fullback/Centre
Ennor - Centre/Wing

Etc. Etc. Personally, I would have Smith, Mo'unga, Bridge, Goodhue, Ioane, Reece, B. Barrett... If you wanted to win a game on the weekend.

What do you do with McKenzie/Jordie/Jordan though... There is almost a case there for McKenzie or Jordie to start at 15 now... But in 3 years time just before the World Cup? Beauden will be at least 32... Do you give them time now, or hope that he's alright or hasn't gone overseas... You cannot phase him out, he's too good right now, but will that hurt us at the next World Cup, inexperience hurt us last time. We had 4 years to get a centre pairing and the coaches faffed around. Ultimately I think we'll lose Barrett overseas before the next WC, do you worry about that now or in 2023... Start Jordie or McKenzie, have Beauden on the bench for purely 10 cover, have Jordan for fullback and wing cover orrrr.... Yeah this is not going to be easy..
Anton lienert brown has been my favourite rugby player since before he could make the starting lineup at the chiefs. He does way more than he’s given credit for, than most people even see. You need to watch closely. Ruck clearances for instance. Many, many tries over the years have been scored due to his absolute brilliance in clearing rucks. He’s a more effective Rucker than the vast majority of forwards, and he’s first to the rucks that matter. When a team makes a break that goes to ground, getting that ball back and getting it back quickly are what enables a team to score from the following phase, or two. And if it isn’t hitting the ruck, he will often play halfback. Again, it’s about getting quick ball. And the subtleties of his touches to put people in gaps when there’s limited Space, brilliant. But it’s his sensing of opportunities, seeing when to make those decisions and being in the right place at the right time to make them. Even without all that, he should be in the team based on his defence alone. He gets ruck turnovers too.

perhaps Laumape or ione would pair better with him than goodhue, I can see the point that goodhue lienert brown is a combo lacking punch. Lienert brown is a facilitator, goodhue is part facilitator, part punchy, but perhaps we need more punch.

I find this concept you speak of interesting, not sure where it came from given foster has said they primarily want specialists but that having some players Who can play multiple positions is a bonus because it gives them options. Maybe they are keeping something up their sleeves but that doesn’t sound like they want a backline full of utility players. I think they want more than one playmaker(outside 9), but they don’t necessarily want 6. It will be interesting to see.
 

GoTheNaki

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Anton lienert brown has been my favourite rugby player since before he could make the starting lineup at the chiefs. He does way more than he’s given credit for, than most people even see. You need to watch closely. Ruck clearances for instance. Many, many tries over the years have been scored due to his absolute brilliance in clearing rucks. He’s a more effective Rucker than the vast majority of forwards, and he’s first to the rucks that matter. When a team makes a break that goes to ground, getting that ball back and getting it back quickly are what enables a team to score from the following phase, or two. And if it isn’t hitting the ruck, he will often play halfback. Again, it’s about getting quick ball. And the subtleties of his touches to put people in gaps when there’s limited Space, brilliant. But it’s his sensing of opportunities, seeing when to make those decisions and being in the right place at the right time to make them. Even without all that, he should be in the team based on his defence alone. He gets ruck turnovers too.

perhaps Laumape or ione would pair better with him than goodhue, I can see the point that goodhue lienert brown is a combo lacking punch. Lienert brown is a facilitator, goodhue is part facilitator, part punchy, but perhaps we need more punch.

I find this concept you speak of interesting, not sure where it came from given foster has said they primarily want specialists but that having some players Who can play multiple positions is a bonus because it gives them options. Maybe they are keeping something up their sleeves but that doesn’t sound like they want a backline full of utility players. I think they want more than one playmaker(outside 9), but they don’t necessarily want 6. It will be interesting to see.
I feel like it is where a Scott Robertson led All Blacks was thinking of heading, he was doing it in the Crusaders this year... Idk, my cousin said this about the forwards before anyone knew anything, just getting power and speed in there and kinda blurring the lines of who plays from #4 to #8. Admittedly it did not work vs England... That was so poor, that was not the right time to do that with Scott Barrett. But I don't think it's a bad idea with the backs, then you become really hard to defend against, then all of a sudden.... You go from marking Sevu Reece, to marking Rieko Ioane in a flash. Or change from Goodhue, to Jordie. I mean, I know basketball is not rugby in any way, but they have switch plays to take advantage of the defence.. whether it's big man vs small man and he just posts up, or small man vs big man and they just blow past him.. but there isn't such huge differences of body size per position.
 

Alex Anghel

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While it's interesting to have a backline where players can swap positions at any given time (i.e. Rieko Ioane wing/centre, Will Jordan fullback/wing, Jordie Barrett fullback/wing/centre, etc), I guess it's more important to have certain pairings/combinations settled and this can be done only in time by playing people in the same positions/in the preferred positions.

One of the reason for All Blacks' failing to retain the WWE Cup was, in my opinion, that the team entered the tournament without having a clear midfield pairing in place, nor a stable and more experienced backline (Barrett was constantly played out of position at 15 in order to accommodate that ridiculous dual pivot idea, while Reece and Bridge were added a bit too late into the mix, thus not benefiting from a proper and earlier exposure to test rugby).

In any event, I hope that the RC can go ahead as planned, either in NZ or in Oz.
 

Umaga's Witness

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Update to squad:
Mitchell Dunshea replaced injured Quentin strange. Laumape replaces injured ennor, but Laumape is still injured.

speculation about team selection:
I am wondering whether they will try a few different options in the first two games.

for instance, they might have one of ione and Clarke On the field each game, got that explosive speed and power.

They might start Richie At ten one week Beauden the next.

they might play one of the newbies Clarke and Jordan one week, the other the next.

they might play Jordie one week at fullback, McKenzie the next

taken together I think that means bridge alb Ione Jordan is one set and
Clarke alb goodhue Reece is another.

I don’t think the forwards will change so much.

so maybe something like

week 1
Moody. Hodgman
Taylor. Coles
Tuungafasi. Laulala
Tuipolotu
Whitelock. Vaai
Frizell
Cane
Savea. Sotutu
Smith. Perenara
Mounga. B Barrett
Bridge
Alb
Ione. Goodhue
Jordan
J Barrett

Week 2
Moody. Karl
Taylor. Coles
Tuungafasi. Lomax
Tuipolotu
Whitelock. Dunshea
A ione
Cane
Sotutu. Savea
Smith. Perenara
b Barrett. Mounga
Clarke
Goodhue
Alb
reece
McKenzie. Jordie
 
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