AB "What could have been" XV



  • Ok, continuing on from the World XV thread and some discussion of Rupeni on another thread i thought a "what could have been" AB xv might be fun. Criteria = guys who had potential to be something special at lower levels but never quite made it or never fulfilled their potential for whatever reason.

    1. ? I don't know. Was Ben Afeaki a LH?

    2. Hika Elliot ? Seemed to have the skills for test rugby but never got much time there for whatever reason.

    3. Ben Tameifuna: Had a few flaws to his game but could have been a good AB if he had sorted those.

    4. James Ryan: retired early to be a lawyer didn't he?

    5. Keith Robinson: seemed to be constantly broken in 2004-2007 when we desperately needed a hard arse lock. BBBT, Whitelock and BBBR coming along after him sort of mean he gets a bit forgotten.

    6. Lauaki: looked awesome in 2005 but never really fulfilled his potential.

    7. Holah is probably the most well know being behind Richie. Maybe also Latimer who could have been a good test player. Todd might ultimately end up in this spot too.

    8. Nasi manu?? I only picked him because he was quality but never got a chance in tests. Hopefully Akira doesn't end up in this spot.

    9. Brendan Leonard maybe? Or Kahn Fotuali'i.
      Both looked good at super level but either never got picked (kahn) or didn't kick on (Leonard)

    10. Nick Evans: stuck behind Carter for most of the time he was in NZ. Would have had a decent AB career if he had stayed given Dan was injured regularly.

    11.Rupeni: could have been huge for the ABs. Instead he got fat in France.

    1. Ngatai: Who else? Could have been a good AB. Injuries and then probably the emergence of ALB and Laumape stopped that.

    2. Toeava: could pick him in lots of positions in this team. That is probably his main issue, he never settled in a spot to be able to claim it. Injuries also screwed him over.

    3. Kahui: picked him here because i can't think of anyone else. Injuries really screwed him out of a long AB career. Was awesome in 2011 though. Maybe NMS will fit in here in time.

    4. Piutau: Could have been on 50 caps by now. But chose to chase the cash.

    Have i missed anyone?



  • What about that centre/winger who had heart problems - played for the Crusaders and Chiefs? Can't believe his name is escaping me.



  • @crazy-horse Robbie Fruean, beast at super level when fit.



  • Aaron Hopa for me at 6. He did everything Collins and Kaino were praised for doing, but before either of them hit the scene. I reckon he would have been a starter at RWC 99.



  • @sapetyvi that's the one.



  • Wasn’t James Ryan forced to retire due to a back or neck injury?

    Whopper was supposed to be the next big thing wasn’t he?
    Rene Ranger if he’d of stuck around.
    Norm Berryman



  • @gunner knee injury



  • @tim said in AB "What could have been" XV:

    @gunner knee injury

    That's interesting I didn't realise it was an injury issue. Or maybe i did but forgot.

    Yes, Fruen is a good one.

    Broadhurst is another that was forced to retire just as he reached test level. His first test wasn't great but he could have improved.

    Pat T is another who looks like he may end up in this category.

    Could also include Luatua i guess.



  • Doesn't really meet the criteria as he was awesome at top level but imagine 'what could have been' if Jonah was able to operate at 100%.

    Isa Nacewa deserves a mention doesn't he?



  • @crucial yeah I thought of Lomu too. Staggering to think he was never 100% and what he might have been like if he was.



  • @crucial said in AB "What could have been" XV:

    Doesn't really meet the criteria as he was awesome at top level but imagine 'what could have been' if Jonah was able to operate at 100%.

    Isa Nacewa deserves a mention doesn't he?

    Ah yeah Nacewa was in my original team before i started the thread. Totally forgot to include him though.

    Agree with Lomu.



  • Stretching the criteria a bit but Hayman would have probably gone on to be a centurion AB if he hung around



  • Paul Williams broken leg that healed poorly

    Jason Goldsmith - injury too

    Both looked really promising.



    1. DAVID Halligan
    2. Alwyn Harvey

    More when I think of them



  • @crucial said in AB "What could have been" XV:

    Stretching the criteria a bit but Hayman would have probably gone on to be a centurion AB if he hung around

    Especially if he moved to number 8



  • @pukunui said in AB "What could have been" XV:

    Have i missed anyone?

    Nacewa?



  • Caucau shouldn’t be on this list.

    He’s a Fijian who played for Fiji.



  • @bovidae said in AB "What could have been" XV:

    Aaron Hopa for me at 6. He did everything Collins and Kaino were praised for doing, but before either of them hit the scene. I reckon he would have been a starter at RWC 99.

    I might be recollecting through my Hurricanes/Lions goggles, but I remember Filo Tiatia pressing hard for AB selection in 1999. He just missed out on the RWC squad, then missed a call up when Carlos got hurt before the tourney. I can't remember who the replacement was (I seem to recall it was a back, Auckland?), but we could have used his physicality in the semi vs France



  • Paul Tito. Never made the top due to his ginger hair.



  • Wayne Ormond


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