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what would be your country's 33 man squad for rugby world cup 2023


Academy Player
Apr 4, 2017
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what would be your country's 33 man squad for rugby world cup 2023
Is that how big the squads are going to be? How will they deal with COVID?

Props : Vakh Abdaladze (Leinster), Nika Abuladze (Exeter Chiefs), Beka Gigashvili (Toulon), Guram Gogichashvili (Racing 92), Aleksandre Kuntelia (La Rochelle), Guram Papidze (Pau)
Reserves : Mikheil Nariashvili (Black Lion), Giorgi Melikidze (Stade Français)

Hookers : Giorgi Chkoidze (Black Lion), Shalva Mamukashvili (Black Lion), Tengiz Zamtaradze (Black Lion)
Reserve : Vano Karkadze (Brive)

Locks : Lado Chachanidze (Nevers), Nodar Cheishvili (Black Lion), Lasha Jaiani (Nevers), Konstantine Mikautadze (Bayonne)
Reserve : Mikheil Babunashvili (Black Lion)

Backrow : Mikheil Gachechiladze (Black Lion), Otar Giorgadze (Brive), Beka Gorgadze (Pau), Tornike Jalagonia (Biarritz Olympique), Beka Saghinadze (Lyon), Giorgi Tsutskiridze (Stade Français)
Reserve : Sandro Mamamtavrishvili (Black Lion), Beka Shvangiradze (Aurillac)

Scrumhalves : Mikheil Alania (Aurillac), Gela Aprasidze (Montpellier), Vasil Lobzhanidze (Brive)
Reserve : Tengiz Peranidze (Black Lion)

Flyhalves : Tedo Abzhandadze (Montauban), Luka Matkava (Black Lion)
Reserve : Giorgi Babunashvili (Black Lion)

Centres : Tornike Kakhoidze (Black Lion), Girogi Kveseladze (Gloucester), Merab Sharikadze (Black Lion), Demur Tapladze (Black Lion)
Reserve : Lasha Lomidze (Black Lion)

Back Three : Lasha Khmaladze (Black Lion), Otar Lashki (Black Lion), Davit Niniashvili (Lyon), Akaki Tabutsadze (Black Lion), Sandro Todua (Black Lion)
Reserve : Mirian Modebadze (Black Lion)
I don't think there will be any prizes for anyone picking the SA lineup mostly correct. At least as far as the staring team is concerned. As for 33 I would imagine :

Kitshoff / Nche
Marx / Mbonambi / Dweba though I'd hope for Grobbelaar
Malherbe / Koch / Nyakane or DuToit, small chance of Mchunu if we are talking more than 5 props or in case of injury

Etzebeth / Snyman
De Jager / Mostert / Orie
Possibly Orie who has had time with the Bokke though I've never rated him as highly even though he has been growing on me for the Stormers. I could name a number I go for instead but I think it would be Orie. In fairness he has improved though I don't know what they saw to start with.

Kolisi I will be assuming him as being unfit unfortunately. I am hoping for an actual Openside so Deon Fourie though I would be pleasantly surprised if he gets anything other than time vs Tonga or a bench spot if we continue insisting on a 6-2 bench split which is my expectation. Quite apart from that I expect us to shoehorn in PSDT and expect him to pick up the pace on the job while I think all of Wiese, Smith and Roos is now in ahead of Vermeulen. One of Louw or Elstadt to back up PSDT again assuming a 6-2 split. Personally I have a soft spot for Dayimani but don't see him in the picture. Vincent Tsituka is more the type of player Bok selectors would favor. In summary then..

Smith / Fourie
Du Toit / Louw
Wiese / Roos

Hmm, leaving me with 14 backs. Let me type it out and revisit later..

De Klerk, Hendricks, Reinach, Jantjies and Williams all in with a shout. Nohamba an outside chance. I have no idea what sort of form De Klerk or Reinach is in but my gut is telling me that we will be taking Williams in the slot Reinach would've filled, De Klerk will get the nod and the jersey would be his too lose and I think Hendricks is still injured and might miss out to Jantjies who TBF has recaptured some form for the Stormers. I also have a lot of time for Paul de Wet and would've called him the better Stormers 9 but like I said, with Jantjies back in form we are spoilt for choice though I don't think anyone will be arguing for ours in a world XV atm. So..

De Klerk / Jantjies / Williams
Pollard (even if wearing moonboots) / Libbok / Willemse

De Allende / (Willemse) / Esterhuizen
Am / (Willemse again)

Mapimpi / Kolbe / Arendse or Moodie
Le Roux / (Willemse again along either Arendse or Moodie)

Oh, and since Jesse Kriel has dirt on the entire Bok staff, Jesse Kriel then to make it 14 backs.
Since no one has tried the England one yet I’ll have a go at butchering it.

This is what I think Borthwick will choose.

Props: Genge, Sinckler, will Stuart, Obano, Mako & Cole

Hookers: LCD, Jamie George, Theo Dan

Locks: Mario Itoje, Ollie Chessum (if fit), Courtney Lawes, Nick Isiekwe

Back row: Tom curry; jack Willis, Alex Dombrant, Lewis Ludlum, Zach mercer and maybe Pearson or Earl.

SH: JVPF, Ben Youngs, Alex Mitchell

FH: Owen Farrell, Marcus Smith

Centres: Ollie Lawrence, Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade, Dan Kelly

Back three: Freddie Stewart, Anthony Watson, Henry Arendell, Elliot Daly, max Malins

I think it will look similar to that. I guess there are a lot of places still up for grabs. Especially prop, hooker, lock, centres and back row….so most of the team really!
Williams offers the absolute wheels off the bench that would keep a tired opposition defense nicely closed in
I would be happy with him on the bench even if it is for the fact that the opposition has to cover the ruck very well with him around. De Klerk probably still has the inside track. If Hendrickse can get fit in time he'd be up there. Those would be my 3. If Hendrickse isn't fit I'd be taking Jantjies over Reinach. It's hard to imagine but there was a time when Ricky January was first choice for us and I would say he'd be nowhere in the current picture for us. Not that I think any of our current spread would be in the discussion for best ever Bok 9.

On a side note and as if pool B isn't stacked enough already I see Tonga is going to be fielding a few big names. Anyone clued up enough to attempt a Tonga 33?
For New Zealand, this is how I'd go:

Props (6): De Groot, Lomax, Tu'ungafasi, Williams, Moody, Ross ------------ toughest omission: Laulala

Hookers (3): Taukeiaho, Coles, Taylor ----------- toughest omission: Aumua

Locks (4): Whitelock, Retallick, S. Barrett, Vaa'i ----------- toughest omission: Tuipolutu

Loosies (6): Savea, Blackadder, Sotutu, Papali'i, Jacobson, Cane (S Barrett) ------------ toughest omission: Frizzell

Halfbacks (3): Smith, Roigard, Christie ------------ toughest omission: Fakatava / Weber / Perenara

First Fives (3): Mo'unga, B Barrett, McKenzie ------------ toughest omission: Perofeta

Midfeilders (4): J Barrett, ALB, Ioane, Goodhue (Faianganuku) ------------ toughest omission: Havili

Outside Backs (4): Jordan, Telea, Stevenson, Faianganuku (Ioane), (Barrett x2), (McKenzie) ------------ toughest omission: Clarke

My starting 23 for the WC, based on current knowledge, would be:
1. De Groot
2. Taukei'aho
3. Lomax
4. Retallick
5. Whitelock (Captain with Savea as Vice)
6. Blackadder
7. Savea (Assuming Blackadder is back to his usual self before WC, this would be the best loose trio IMO. Sotutu's a great player in great form, Savea is Savea... unlucky Cane)
8. Sotutu
9. Smith
10. Mo'unga
11. Telea (have to pick him on form. Moved to 11 where he is just as good in order to make room for Jordan/Stevenson)
12. J Barrett
13. ALB (Better 13 than Ioane for me, assuming he maintains form. Great decision maker, great skills, great physicality. Ioane lacks passing and decision-making)
14. Jordan
15. Stevenson (If Jordan gets back to his best before the WC then I'd swap Stevenson and Jordan. For now, Stevenson is our best FB)

16. Coles (people underestimate how good Coles still is. He's still dynamic. Valuable gamesmanship too)
17. Williams
18. Tu'ungafasi
19. Barrett (If Cane starts then I like Barrett at 6 with Savea at 8. In my team, though, Barrett makes a perfect impact sub at lock or 6)
20. Papali'i
21. Roigard (undeniable form, and his style would be perfect as an impact sub)
22. McKenzie (edges Barrett based on current form.... but I could go either way, really)
23. Ioane (edges Faianganuku as center/wing cover, again could go either way)

Those are my thoughts. I know Foster's will be different.... especially re Cane and probably the centers and back 3.
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