All Blacks Squad for France



  • We're all hinting at it.

    There's injuries and stuff.

    So let's have a thread dedicated to who we think is going to be in the ABs in June.

    We need to define:

    1. How many?
    2. Make up? ie., how many props, hokokers, locks, loosies, midfielders, etc etc

    Who is the mix?

    All speculation encouraged.



  • So ...

    Is this a hint from the selectors that Taufua us in the mix?



  • Gee I hope not, definition of a flat track bully. Would have Whitelock and Ioane ahead of him anyway.



  • @kirwan said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    Gee I hope not, definition of a flat track bully. Would have Whitelock and Ioane ahead of him anyway.

    IS he too short? Haven't seen much of the Crusaders this season - is he a viable lineout option?



  • @nzzp said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    IS he too short? Haven't seen much of the Crusaders this season - is he a viable lineout option?

    Just imagining a loose trio of Ardie, Jordan and Phil Waugh. Angry Dwarves all over the place (with Ardie's hair lifting the bar of course)



  • Every time I come around to the idea, I remember how he got bossed around by the Lions, and think erm, perhaps not.

    Having said that, he could probably take Ardie’s spot and be no worse. Plus, he might turn out to be made for it and could be a Masoe replacement.

    And, assuming no Squire, we’d have to go back to the future (Kaino), which seems a waste of an opportunity.

    So, I’d probably pick him, with Whitelock and Todd.

    Starting:
    Fifita, Cane, Ioane

    Bench: Taufua
    No 1s: Whitelock, Todd

    If Fifiya fucks it, he’s out and Whitelock starts at 6. Ioane to get plenty of time at 8 if I were selecting.

    If Squire is fit, then I think no Taufua, with Squire at 6, and Todd on the bench.

    I wouldn’t pick Ardie in the team right now, but they’ll probably pick him too, I guess at Todd’s expense.



  • @booboo said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    We're all hinting at it.

    There's injuries and stuff.

    So let's have a thread dedicated to who we think is going to be in the ABs in June.

    We need to define:

    1. How many?
    2. Make up? ie., how many props, hokokers, locks, loosies, midfielders, etc etc

    Who is the mix?

    All speculation encouraged.

    My guess at a likely squad. 33 players 18 forwards and 15 backs.

    Hookers: Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Ricky Riccitelli
    Props: Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu'ugafasi, Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala
    Locks: Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano
    Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Akira Ioane, Vaea Fifita, Matt Todd, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock

    Halfbacks: Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Brad Weber
    First Fives: Beuden Barrett, Damien McKenzie, Richie Mo'unga
    Midfield: Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Anton Lienart-Brown, Jack Goodhue
    Outside backs: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Reiko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner Skudder



  • I already posted this in the AB Positions up for grabs thread; it gives an indication of the number of players they could pick in each position:

    @stargazer said in AB Positions up for grabs:

    About the likely number of players for the squad for the Steinlager Series. These are the numbers for the last two Series.

    Total number of players (excluding injury replacements & apprentices):
    2014 - 17 forwards and 14 backs
    2016 - 18 forwards and 14 backs (incl one non-playing back)

    Props:
    2014 - 5 (Crockett, Faumuina, O. Franks, B. Franks, Woodcock)
    2016 - 5 (Crockett, Faumuina, O. Franks, Moody, Ofa Tu’ungafasi)

    Hookers:
    2014 - 2 (Coles, Mealamu; apprentices: Nathan Harris & Liam Coltman )
    2016 - 3 (Coles, Taylor, Harris)

    Locks:
    2014 - 4 (Bird, Retallick, Tuipulotu, S Whitelock)
    2016 - 4 (Retallick, Romano, Tuipulotu, S Whitelock; injury replacement: Tom Franklin for Whitelock)

    Loose Forwards:
    2014 - 6 (Cane, Kaino, McCaw, Messam, Read, Vito)
    2016 - 6 (Cane, E Dixon, Kaino, Read, A Savea, Squire)

    Halfbacks:
    2014 - 3 (TKB, Perenara, A Smith)
    2016 - 2 (TKB, A Smith; injury replacement: Perenara for TKB)

    First five-eighths:
    2014 - 3 (Barrett, Cruden, Slade)
    2016 - 3 (Barrett, Cruden, Sopoaga)

    Midfielders:
    2014 - 4 (Crotty, Fekitoa, Nonu, C Smith)
    2016 - 4 (Crotty, Fekitoa, Ngatai, Tamanivalu; Moala called up later to replace injured Fekitoa)

    Outside backs:
    2014 - 4 (Dagg, Jane, J Savea, B Smith)
    2016 - 5 (Dagg, McKenzie, Naholo, J Savea, B Smith; McKenzie did not play)

    2014 unavailable due to injury: Francis Saili (ankle), Charles Piutau (knee), Luke Romano (ankle); Daniel Carter on extended leave.

    2014 unavailable due to injury: Nehe Milner-Skudder



  • Interesting on Tafua and that match v the British Lions and how that can impact your reputation.

    Mo'ouga was also terrible that day behind a beaten pack, but I'm 100% behind him now piker Sopoaga is dead to me.

    Whitelock's captaincy was poor as he turned down numerous gimme penalties until they were chasing a game v rush defense more than a score behind. But some people rate his captaincy so much they wNt him to replace Read..



  • @cantab79 said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    Hookers: Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Ricky Riccitelli

    I expect Coltman to be the third hooker. He's been there before.

    Fox did say they might pick less outside backs to accommodate an extra loose forward so the split could be 19:14.



  • @nzzp said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @kirwan said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    Gee I hope not, definition of a flat track bully. Would have Whitelock and Ioane ahead of him anyway.

    IS he too short? Haven't seen much of the Crusaders this season - is he a viable lineout option?

    Yes, the Crusaders use him for the line-out.

    Stats for line-outs won (locks and frontrowers not included; have included Fifita)

    G Evans - 21
    V Fifita - 21
    H Bedwell-Curtis - 20
    A Ioane - 15
    E Dixon - 13
    J Kaino - 10
    T Seu - 10
    B Shields - 10
    E Blackadder - 7
    S Frizell - 7
    A Kiri Kiri - 7
    J Taufua - 7
    L Boshier - 4
    L Messam - 4
    P Samu - 4
    R Prinsep - 3
    L Squire - 3
    S Cane - 1
    B Harmon - 0
    S Henwood - 0
    D Hunt - 0
    D Papali'i - 0
    K Pryor - 0
    A Savea - 0
    M Todd - 0
    L Whitelock - 0

    Source: Fox Sports Lab



  • @booboo said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    So ...

    Is this a hint from the selectors that Taufua us in the mix?

    I would dump A Savea for Taufua every day of the week. Another option would be Gareth Evans. Both have been awesome all season.



  • @rapido said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    Interesting on Tafua and that match v the British Lions and how that can impact your reputation.

    Mo'ouga was also terrible that day behind a beaten pack, but I'm 100% behind him now piker Sopoaga is dead to me.

    Whitelock's captaincy was poor as he turned down numerous gimme penalties until they were chasing a game v rush defense more than a score behind. But some people rate his captaincy so much they wNt him to replace Read..

    I was thinking the same. Not many players from tve Crusaders came out of that game with an improved reputation. From memory Goodhue was be one that played well.



  • @rapido said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    Interesting on Tafua and that match v the British Lions and how that can impact your reputation.

    Mo'ouga was also terrible that day behind a beaten pack, but I'm 100% behind him now piker Sopoaga is dead to me.

    Whitelock's captaincy was poor as he turned down numerous gimme penalties until they were chasing a game v rush defense more than a score behind. But some people rate his captaincy so much they wNt him to replace Read..

    I think it was mostly the ref being terrible that day.



  • @stargazer said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    I think it was mostly the ref being terrible that day.

    Only officiating the scrums.

    I don't agree with McKendry at all. Todd will make the squad ahead of Taufua if it's a toss-up.

    Is Squire definitely out? I thought he was going to be able to play before the June break.

    Will Romano be fit? If not, they'll likely select Fifita as a 4th lock which could open up another loose forward spot.



  • @cantab79 said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    My guess at a likely squad. 33 players 18 forwards and 15 backs.

    Hookers: Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Ricky Riccitelli Liam Coltman
    Props: Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Ofa Tu'ugafasi, Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala
    Locks: Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Luke RomanoPatrick Tuipolotu
    Loose forwards: Sam Cane, Akira Ioane, Vaea Fifita, Matt Todd, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock

    Halfbacks: Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Brad WeberTe ToiroaTahuriorangi
    First Fives: Beuden Barrett, Damien McKenzie, Richie Mo'unga
    Midfield: Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Anton Lienart-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape
    Outside backs: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Reiko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner Skudder

    Agree with Bovidae that Coltman has been there before. Given they've got Coles and Aumua in the injury ward, I don't think they need to develop anyone new, so Coltman (or whomever) may not get a start.

    I read that Romano is unlikely to be fit in time - in which case probably Tuipolotu, but maybe someone like Tom Franklin.

    I think they'll pick TTT, though I'd pick Bryn Hall. Drummond is a chance if the selectors have seen his game differently to me. Weber also a chance, but I'm not a huge fan.

    Midfield is a case of five into four don't go. I think Crotty is a cast iron certainty. I wonder if Hansen would have been happy enough if SBW had stayed in the injury ward and made the decision for him. That being said, if he's available it's hard to see him missing out. I'm thinking two broadswords and two rapiers so Laumape and SBW are my two broadswords. So a choice between ALB or Goodhue. My opinion is that Goodhue is likely to be our best centre by about this time next year (if he isn't already), so I'd pick him - but, he's the new boy relative to ALB...who knows! 🙂

    @gt12 Would be interesting if someone had looked closely at the pods the various teams use and which loosies play which roles. I certainly haven't, but I reckon Fifita, Ioane and Squire are all suited to playing looser and wider roles, whereas Whitelock plays tighter - I reckon in Read's absence there is a good chance they will start by playing Luke at No. 8 and pair him with one of the other three.

    Edit: There's a good chance they'll pick NMS, but in that case Lam will be unlucky.



  • Has Tahuriorangi really overtaken Weber? I know Weber has missed a lot of Rugby this year, but he has a playing style that suits what the All Black selectors want (similar style to Aaron Smith's) and he has experience in the All Black environment. Given that the 3rd halfback will potentially play very little Rugby, I wonder if Weber is a safer option for Steve Hansen?



  • @cantab79 said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    Has Tahuriorangi really overtaken Weber?

    Like Usain Bolt overtaking a mobility scooter, with a flat battery.



  • @antipodean

    Fair enough. I'd take both over Drummond and that's coming from a Canterbury fan.



  • @cantab79 Bryn Hall over Weber too right now



  • @canerbry said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @cantab79 Bryn Hall over Weber too right now

    Hall is a funny one, no-one seems to rate him. Even Scott Robertson seems to rate him on par with Drummond - hence why he rotates them evenly. I must be watching a different player because I rate him highly, and if it were up to me he'd always start for the Crusaders. I think he's a really talented player but he just never seems to even be in the discussion for the All Blacks.



  • He is underrated because he was not up to the task when playing for the Blues.
    He is having a very good season with the Crusaders. He is not brilliant but safe and sound. His box kicks are better than Drummond's and his passing is OK.
    I think Hansen will pick TTT who is the nearest to Aaron Smith in terms of pass accuracy and speed to get behind the rucks. Weber's passing is too erratic IMO while Drummond's form is far from what it was last year.



  • It's a style thing with Bryn Hall. The Crusaders being so dominant up front allows him to play his up tempo game, where as behind other forward packs you need more creativity from your halfback which is where he struggled at the Blues. He's fairly basic and one-dimensional which suits the Crusaders perfectly and has proved to be a good signing but personally I wouldn't have him in the ABs squad.



  • @cantab79 It's hard to know what the selectors think of Hall. Last year he started for the Crusaders more than Drummond and started the play-off games, so you'd have to conclude Robinson had a preference for him - though not a huge one, because Drummie got plenty of starts and they weren't shy of giving him plenty of time in big games.

    This year Drummond has been in the AB frame, so it wouldn't have been very fair of Razor to not give him a decent opportunity to show his wares and compete for the spot.

    There hasn't been a halfback vacancy in the ABs for several years - when Drummond got his call up, Hall and several others were injured.

    When TTT got called into the North Island camp, Perenara had just been injured and potentially out for the French series - so we've been tipped that he, at least, is in the frame. Harder to know who else is.

    Pulu has also been there before so has to be a shot.



  • I thought TJP was out until during or after the June series?

    Problem is, other 9s that they have looked at, Webber & TTT are similar to AS, so really want a different 9 as the other option, which is where Pulu probably fills the gap with no TKB.



  • I know we're talking "on paper" but could this be the weakest AB squad in a good number of years? Some of the names floating around are pretty average.

    We're a Codie Taylor injury away from playing a couple of very ordinary hookers
    Props are starting to go okay with the cantab boys coming back.
    Two of the locks are only just test standard, and not really starting quality. If Patty T is next in line then, well, jesus...
    In the loosies, i have faith in the opensides (not named Savea), but the rest are green as all fuck.

    3rd halfback is a cripple fight, and the 2nd guy isn't exactly a reliable test player despite years of experience.
    At 10 our starter isn't that good, the anointed backup is definitely not up to standard, lets hope Mo'unga goes alright
    The midfielders are either injured, or green (though ALB is having a better year this compared to last)
    At least the back 3 look alright.



  • @taniwharugby I'm pretty sure they were interviewing TJ before last weekends Hurricanes game and he said he was hoping to play club rugby this weekend. Unfortunately, I was only had the TV on in the background and wasn't paying much attention till that point, but I'm pretty sure it was him talking.

    In which case he should be on the bench for the Canes next weekend and starting the following....vs the Crusaders.



  • Front row is really not great.
    But the rest of the team is fine I think.
    And saying our 10 isn't that good? I couldn't disagree more.



  • @mariner4life assume your comment re 10 is sarcastic...



  • @darren-nicholson What's not great about Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks? It's only the bench that's not that great.



  • @stargazer

    With Laulala or Ofa we're OK at TH on the bench. But LH is an issue. Perry FFS! Hames won't be back anytime soon and I think Aidan Ross might have been a bolter before his injury.

    Harris has been average this season but is servicable to play limited minutes like he did in the Lions series.



  • @bovidae Perry is currently injured, too, and I don't know whether he'll be available for the French tests. They may need to beg the Crockzilla to postpone his international retirement.



  • @taniwharugby said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @mariner4life assume your comment re 10 is sarcastic...

    not at all, I've made the comment before. BB is a fantastic rugby player, but a pretty ordinary test match 10. Having mad wheels, and a halfback with an insane pass allows him to bail himself and us out a lot.



  • @stargazer said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @darren-nicholson What's not great about Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks? It's only the bench that's not that great.

    Thats perfect, but it's been so long since we put out that front row I tend to forget. Reserves worry me then for the last 20 or 30 minutes.



  • The Frogs are suffering some serious injuries aren't they? Still would hate to see them get up again at Eden Park in teh first test.



  • @mariner4life Missing from the first test 23 vs the Lions last year will (most likely) be Kaino, Read, Dagg, Crockett, Faumuina, Cruden plus Coles would have been there if fit.

    I guess we've had a bit of a post-Lions cleanout.

    Starting XV should be pretty strong (according to me):
    Moody, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Whitelock, Squire, Cane, Whitelock, Smith, Barrett, Ioane, SBW, Crotty, Smith, Barrett

    After that it's getting a bit thinner (bench): Perry, Harris, Laulala, Barrett, Todd, Perenara, McKenzie, Laumape

    There's some assumptions about people who are going to make it back in time and also a pretty big assumption that no-one else is going to get injured in the meantime. Seems to me that on average about two players per team hobble off injured per game - sometimes they're back the following week...sometimes not.

    For a game like Crusaders-Hurricanes, where about half the starting players are going to be AB squad members, we could easily lose two or three just in that game - and there's still three or four Super games left for all our teams before the French arrive. Lose the wrong people and we will be tested!



  • @mariner4life said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @taniwharugby said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @mariner4life assume your comment re 10 is sarcastic...

    not at all, I've made the comment before. BB is a fantastic rugby player, but a pretty ordinary test match 10. Having mad wheels, and a halfback with an insane pass allows him to bail himself and us out a lot.

    Get off the crack pipe.



  • @mariner4life said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    I know we're talking "on paper" but could this be the weakest AB squad in a good number of years? Some of the names floating around are pretty average.

    We're a Codie Taylor injury away from playing a couple of very ordinary hookers
    Props are starting to go okay with the cantab boys coming back.
    Two of the locks are only just test standard, and not really starting quality. If Patty T is next in line then, well, jesus...
    In the loosies, i have faith in the opensides (not named Savea), but the rest are green as all fuck.

    3rd halfback is a cripple fight, and the 2nd guy isn't exactly a reliable test player despite years of experience.
    At 10 our starter isn't that good, the anointed backup is definitely not up to standard, lets hope Mo'unga goes alright
    The midfielders are either injured, or green (though ALB is having a better year this compared to last)
    At least the back 3 look alright.

    Good post apart from the nonsense about the no. 10. Yes I would go gay for the guy but seriously man. While you can question the relevance and selection process, not very good players do not win back-to-back world player of the year awards.



  • @mariner4life said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @taniwharugby said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @mariner4life assume your comment re 10 is sarcastic...

    not at all, I've made the comment before. BB is a fantastic rugby player, but a pretty ordinary test match 10. Having mad wheels, and a halfback with an insane pass allows him to bail himself and us out a lot.

    My "white knight Canes players" alarm just went off, but that's probably a pretty accurate statement. He's not your traditional test 10 that's for sure, but he does have some pretty obvious strengths which the AB coaches really like:

    • Outrageously quick off the mark.
    • Strong defender.
    • Brilliant at seizing half chances and turning them into points, which can turn a test match.

    No doubt Aaron Smith plays a key role against rush defense. He struggles a bit without him.

    We were bloody spoilt with DC who has to go down as the GOAT 10 of the modern era - we're unlikely to see someone of his ilk again in our lifetimes. But I'd say most, in fact probably all international sides right now would give their left nut to have Beauden at 10.



  • @rancid-schnitzel said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    @mariner4life said in All Blacks Squad for France:

    I know we're talking "on paper" but could this be the weakest AB squad in a good number of years? Some of the names floating around are pretty average.

    We're a Codie Taylor injury away from playing a couple of very ordinary hookers
    Props are starting to go okay with the cantab boys coming back.
    Two of the locks are only just test standard, and not really starting quality. If Patty T is next in line then, well, jesus...
    In the loosies, i have faith in the opensides (not named Savea), but the rest are green as all fuck.

    3rd halfback is a cripple fight, and the 2nd guy isn't exactly a reliable test player despite years of experience.
    At 10 our starter isn't that good, the anointed backup is definitely not up to standard, lets hope Mo'unga goes alright
    The midfielders are either injured, or green (though ALB is having a better year this compared to last)
    At least the back 3 look alright.

    Good post apart from the nonsense about the no. 10. Yes I would go gay for the guy but seriously man. While you can question the relevance and selection process, not very good players do not win back-to-back world player of the year awards.

    He means as an out and out 10 not as a rugby player.


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