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Four. More. Years. (The All Blacks future and players to watch in Super Rugby)

GoTheNaki

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So, I always said leading into the World Cup, and with our selections going into it. The dropping of Ngani Laumape(Big mistake, massive threat, punches holes in defenses), the inability to ultimately address our midfield after Conrad and Nonu moved on(Not having Rieko Ioane play 13 like it wanted to when he was 19 years old) and never really having that solid starting midfield duo across the 4 years leading into the World Cup. Who we've lost, and who I'm excited to watch and expect to be in a black jersey in the next 4 years.

Who I imagine we will still have come the next World Cup:

I would say we are mostly going to lose all of our props, and our hookers to retirement and overseas exploration. Everyone included, bar Atu Moli, will be over the age of 31 come the next World Cup, and although that is typically around the peak age of world class front row players, I've already got a few in mind to watch anyway, and expect to have a go in the next few years. We still have Karl Tu'inukuafe(30 in 4 years) as well, and cannot forget Nepo Laulala(31 in 4 years).

Alex Fidow
Asafo Aumua

I expect these young guys to start really making names for themselves either this season in Super Rugby, or the season after. Aumua has already been in the wider training squad for the All Blacks, and is really built in that power+exceptional speed combo were I think he will become hard to ignore in the near future.

I wouldn't imagine Sam Whitelock will be here in 4 years time, being 34. However, Brodie Retallick will be 32, Tuipulotu(30) and Scott Barrett(29)

The loose forwards, I'd assume that the Cane(31) and Savea(29 in 4 years) combo will be joined by Akira Ioane, but... I mean, this guy is super talented, but seems to be lazy with his weight and commitment to the game. I guess we will see, I would suggest that he will take things seriously now, now that Read is gone, and try to make that jersey his own. Still have Luke Jacobson(26 in 4 years) too and Vaea Fifita is a forgotten player, but still super talented.

I think out of all the things here for NZ rugby, I think the boys at half-back are really a question mark. TJ will be 31, Aaron Smith will be 34, and Brad Weber will be 32...... Will TJ stay till another World Cup? You'd assume that Aaron will go overseas in the next 2 years tbh. We have Sam Nock, and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi... Triple T seems like the next one to come in with his involvement at All Blacks camps, but I feel like this is a weak point for us over the next few years, so I'm hoping TJ doesn't sustain any injuries or goes overseas. I don't know if we lose all that I've mentioned, whether we will have a world class half-back at the next World Cup.

10... Well, I would say Mo'unga is almost a certainty, with Beauden Barrett being another big question mark. I'm going to go with my gut and say that Beauden won't be here come the next World Cup, and therefore won't be in the pool of players to be picked. Josh Ioane looks to have the keys at the Highlanders, so has the most upside, and Aaron Cruden's return will probably only be for a few years and not be a feature for the WC. Barrett will stunt whatever it is that Stephen Perofeta has, which so far... Has just been injury prone.

Our wingers... Well, I feel we are safe with Reece and Bridge, however. Caleb Clarke is going to be absolutely trying to smash that door down. With Rieko's shift to a starting centre position, I expect Clarke to be the next star winger of the All Blacks and anyone will do well to hold him out of the black jersey. There is also another, but I guess being at the Chiefs will determine that he plays on the wing. Etene Nanai-Seturo, also another potential star, but... I believe he prefers Fullback, on a team that has Damien McKenzie, and Aaron Cruden.

Centres. This is a very sore point for me. I felt we were unequipped for what we were facing in the World Cup, and being pushed from side-to-side by a clinical England defense only really confirmed my concerns. We had no danger in the midfield, we have very dangerous players at this position here in our Super Rugby teams. What I wanted was Hansen to ignore how fast Rieko Ioane was, and keep him at the position he wanted to play, 13. And not to pick a 34 year old SBW, who quite frankly, has been overrated since we won in 2015. We could have had Rieko Ioane, and Ngani Laumape, are you scared of these two in the midfield? Yes, yes you are.

For centres take your pick:

Jack Goodhue
Anton Lienert-Brown
Rieko Ioane
Ngani Laumape
Vince Aso
TJ Faiane
Braydon Ennor
Jordie Barrett(???)

I mean... Yeah............. Surely we won't get our midfield wrong at the next World Cup, right? With Jordie Barrett, I don't know... The Hurricanes can play him literally wherever he chooses to play tbh. 10, 12, 15... It's an interesting watch because you have talent everywhere I would say, I guess you would just have to beat Damien McKenzie for the position at Fullback.

I'll have a stab at what we could be looking at over the next 4 years, and use this as a time capsule almost. I could be completely wrong:

Ofa
Aumua
Laulala
Retallick
Barrett
Savea
Cane
Akira Ioane
TJ (I hope)
Mo'unga
Reece
Laumape
Rieko Ioane
Caleb Clarke
Jordi.........McKen...Barrett....

Yeah, we're going to be really weak at half-back, but everywhere else I potentially feel like in 4 years, we are going to be stronger. Especially our back-line.

OH, and our coach? Scott Robertson. I legitimately think he's got it. People like to say anyone could win with the current Crusader's team. No, they couldn't. He made the current Crusader's team. I think he was one of the last successful coaches of the U20's NZ program which, the winning personnel of recent years from South Africa and England were on display during that final thing that was on the other day... But I assume that Ian Foster will be picked, but I really think we need Robertson.

Would love to see opinions of others in the know... Who will you be keeping a keen eye on? Who do you think the coach will be? And do you think my roster is all s**t.
 

donmcdazzle

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Man when you lay out all the midfielders like that.. it is legitimately pretty crazy we had an unsettled midfield in the world cup. Definitely one area we don't need to worry about for the next couple of years.

I like the look of Ennor, but hopefully Ioane gets himself sorted. Either of those two with Laumape would be so explosive (although defence would be a potential concern). The Umaga-Jensen twins are both pretty good as well, interesting to see if one or both can get a consistent run starting.

Wingers we have a ton of talent as well. Caleb Clarke is awesome, the younger Fainga'anuku (even his older brother) is one to watch (especially being at the crusaders). Also interested to see if Alamailo can kick on. He and Nanai-Seturo are great options on the wings for the Chiefs. With Cruden, Mackenzie and those wingers they could cause a bit of carnage on attack.

Hopefully Pari-Pari Parkinson has a big season, massive he is a massive lad so it would be nice to see him put some pressure on Barrett and Tuipolotu.

I'd love Akira to pull his head in, you feel like if it isn't this season then it will never happen and he will go overseas. Someone needs to send him to the Crusaders, he needs to get out of his comfort zone/bubble in Auckland.
 

GoTheNaki

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I don't think the Blues will win anything, but I think the culture will change. Which might unlock Akira, I don't know how much his brother's happiness impacts his own either, but with Rieko playing where he wants to, at 13. The potential is pretty massive with these two.
 

87Dreamer

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My take:

15. Will Jordan
14.Etene Nanai-Seturo
13.Rieko
12.Laumape
11.Caleb Clarke
10.Richie
9.TJ
8.Akira
7.Sam Cane (c)
6.Ardie Savea
5.Brodie
4.Pari Pari Parkinson
3.Alex Fidow
2.Asafo Aumua
1.Atu Moli

I honestly hope the coach is not foster!
He was a consistent loser with Waikato and then the Chiefs.
I'd take Rennie, Joseph or Robertson, guys shown to build winning culture that the players buy into.
 

donmcdazzle

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I don't think the Blues will win anything, but I think the culture will change. Which might unlock Akira, I don't know how much his brother's happiness impacts his own either, but with Rieko playing where he wants to, at 13. The potential is pretty massive with these two.

They should both be long term starters for the ABs, seems like attitude is the only thing holding them both back because the talent is ridiculous.

If Akira had Ardie Savea’s work rate / attitude he’d be the best player in the world.
 

Fetcher

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The Blues finished 13th out of 15 and year before 14th out of 15 and past five years produces real bad bottom part log standings. I think we shouldn't expect it would suddenly improve. Same coach. Barrett only joining much later. My hope is on the Chiefs this year. The Abs coach selection takes too long with 26 candidates and it will affect the Crusader's preparation. Hurricanes lost too many to Europe and Highlanders will get murdered by those take-no-nonsense Boer packs if they don't improve their scrummaging pretty quick
 
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