Pick your 41 man squad



  • In 2015, Shag and Co picked a 41 man squad for the abbreviated rugby championship (later cut to 31 for the RWC). That worked out quite well for him, so I don't see why he won't do something very similar again.

    So, who do you think he will pick in a 41 man squad (not who do you want). 22 forwards, 19 backs as per last time - no further stipulations.



  • @Chris-B They picked a large squad because the RWC team needed to be named before the RC ended, it was much more condensed to the start of RWC. Not saying the won't but I reckon we'll get a standard 33 ish sized squad. Anyway fill your boots, I did my 33 on the 2019 RC thread 🙂



  • @Machpants said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    @Chris-B They picked a large squad because the RWC team needed to be named before the RC ended.

    Why do you think that would make a difference, though?

    I'd think they'd want to have all the genuine contenders in camp preparing for (and playing in) proper matches and then cut down to 31 when they have to.

    On reflection, I'll change my stipulation about backs and forwards to being just a guideline, because they might want to look at a few more extra forwards than backs.



  • @Machpants

    1. Moody
    2. Tu'inukuafe
    3. Tu'ungafasi
    4. Laulaula
    5. Ta'avao
    6. Franks
    7. Coles
    8. Taylor
    9. Coltman
    10. Harris
    11. Whitelock
    12. Tuipolotu
    13. Rettalick
    14. Barrett
    15. Hemopo
    16. Fifita
    17. Squire
    18. Savea
    19. Todd
    20. Cane (if he is healthy)
    21. Ioane (big call but I think he will sneak into this squad with an outlook to the WC)
    22. Frizzel
    23. Read
    24. Perenara
    25. Smith
    26. Webber
    27. TTT
    28. Barrett
    29. Mo'unga
    30. Black
    31. Laumape
    32. Goodhue
    33. Crotty
    34. ALB
    35. SBW
    36. Ioane
    37. Barrett
    38. Bridge
    39. Smith
    40. Jordan (My big bolter for the WC)
    41. Naholo

    After doing this I actually think they might take one less loose forward and one extra prop.



  • @Canes4life said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    Perenara
    Smith
    Webber
    TTT

    will they take 4 9s?



  • @taniwharugby It's an interesting question. Last time they didn't, but that was possibly because they already had three clear options inked in. They did, however, pick four first fives for the 41 man squad.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/69573883/null

    This time, if I were Shag, I'd bring in a new (third) first five and a fourth halfback.

    In my draft selection, I've got Otere Black (same as Canes4life), but I've gone with Bryn Hall ahead of Weber - because that's what happened for the Japan tour last year (Drummond and Hall went). I've put Hall ahead of Drummond, because he is. 🙂



  • What’s happened to the Taranaki prop they took to japan last year?



  • @Chris-B it's all good, Andy Ellis is playing in JApan, easy call up if needed.... 🎣



  • @SammyC injured with an Achilles problem I think - Reuben O'Neill.



  • @SammyC said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    What’s happened to the Taranaki prop they took to japan last year?

    We're a bit short on loosehead options, with Hames and Perry (and O'Neill) MIA. Am I right in thinking that there was a Blues game where Tu'ungafasi and Tu'inukuafe swapped sides, but it wasn't entirely successful? And Ta'avao hasn't been particularly convincing playing loosehead.

    Who's next on the list - Alex Hodgman? Ayden Johnstone?



  • @Chris-B said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    Am I right in thinking that there was a Blues game where Tu'ungafasi and Tu'inukuafe swapped sides, but it wasn't entirely successful?

    Yeah, the first Blues v Highlanders game. They started from the bench and played opposite sides at the AB coaches request.

    It wasn't working and props decided on field to swap back. After that they dominated and the Blues finished strong



  • I’m still struggling to pick my A-Z of music so a 41 man AB squad will be near to impossible. Just trying to figure out the Highlander loose forwards is a mission in itself.



  • Props

    1. Joe Moody, Crusaders
    2. Karl Tu'inukuafe, Blues
    3. Ofa Tuungafasi, Blues
    4. Nepo Laulala, Chiefs
    5. Owen Franks, Crusaders
    6. Tyrel Lomax, Highlanders

    Hookers

    1. Codie Taylor, Crusaders
    2. Dane Coles, Hurricanes
    3. Nathan Harris, Chiefs
    4. Liam Coltman, Highlanders.

    Locks

    1. Brodie Retallick, Chiefs
    2. Sam Whitelock, Crusaders
    3. Scott Barrett, Crusaders
    4. Patrick Tuipulotu, Blues
    5. Jackson Hemopo, Highlanders

    Back Row

    1. Vaea Fifita, Hurricanes
    2. Shannon Frizell, Highlanders
    3. Sam Cane, Chiefs (If fit)
    4. Matt Todd, Crusaders
    5. Ardie Savea, Hurricanes
    6. Kieran Read © Crusaders
    7. Akira Ioane, Blues

    Half Backs

    1. Aaron Smith, Highlanders
    2. TJ Perenera, Hurricanes
    3. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Chiefs (possibly should be Brad Weber)
    4. Bryn Hall, Crusaders

    First Fives

    1. Beauden Barrett, Hurricanes
    2. Richie Mo’unga, Crusaders
    3. Josh Ioane, Highlanders (could easily be Otere Black, Blues)
    4. Mitchell Hunt, Crusaders

    Midfield

    1. Ryan Crotty, Crusaders
    2. Ma’a Nonu, Blues
      33 Ngani Laumape, Hurricanes
      34 Jack Goodhue, Crusaders
      35 ALB, Chiefs

    Back Three

    36 Reiko Ioane, Blues
    37 Ben Smith, Highlanders
    38 Jordie Barrett, Hurricanes
    39 David Havili, Crusaders
    40 George Bridge, Crusaders
    41 Will Jordan, Crusaders

    SBW, Liam Squire and Waisake Naholo will need to show form and fitness to force their way back in IMHO.



  • @sparky They need a 3rd loosehead, not a fouth tighthead.



  • @Tim

    Ofa T makes it as a loosehead, even though he has been at tighthead for the Blues this year.

    Tim Perry would be my next pick at loosehead. My guess is that Tim Perry will be back after his broken arm by mid-July. Harry Allan might make it as a bolter if Perry isn't fit. As someone said, the 41 might well include 7 Props.

    No apologies about picking Tyrel Lomax. I think he is superb. Nepo Laulala might miss out.



  • @sparky I just think by having all of Smith, Havili, Bridge and Jordan - there might be a case that if Ioane gets injured then there is no power winger to replace him. In saying that though I wouldn't feel comfortable if either Naholo or Lam started in a WC final - they are just so sketchy on defence. Someone like Vince Aso would have been perfect but he is broken atm.



  • @Canes4life they're quite happy with utilities on the wing if required, Jordie or whatever. Kahui was there



  • @Canes4life

    Reiko Ioane is perhaps one of the few players who is irreplaceable. A world-class finisher and superb all-round wing. I can't see any players with a similar skillset who are nearly as good. George Bridge and Waisake Naholo are the closest, but don't have the same work rate on defence. Naholo is unreliable under the high ball.

    Given how much the Northern Hemisphere teams and South Africa kick, I am comfortable with effectively a Fullback at Right Wing.



  • @sparky said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    I'd already sketched out my team - with the exception of the sixth prop and on reflection, I think you're right about Lomax. There's loosehead cover in the wings and the subtext around Owen Franks is concerning. A few changes, though...

    Props

    1. Joe Moody, Crusaders
    2. Karl Tu'inukuafe, Blues
    3. Ofa Tuungafasi, Blues
    4. Nepo Laulala, Chiefs
    5. Owen Franks, Crusaders
    6. Tyrel Lomax, Highlanders

    Hookers

    1. Codie Taylor, Crusaders
    2. Dane Coles, Hurricanes
    3. Nathan Harris, Chiefs
    4. Liam Coltman, Highlanders.

    Locks

    1. Brodie Retallick, Chiefs
    2. Sam Whitelock, Crusaders
    3. Scott Barrett, Crusaders
    4. Patrick Tuipulotu, Blues
      15. Jackson Hemopo, Highlanders

    Back Row

    1. Vaea Fifita, Hurricanes Liam Squire and Luke Whitelock
    2. Shannon Frizell, Highlanders
    3. Sam Cane, Chiefs
    4. Matt Todd, Crusaders
    5. Ardie Savea, Hurricanes
    6. Kieran Read © Crusaders
    7. Akira Ioane, Blues

    Half Backs

    1. Aaron Smith, Highlanders
    2. TJ Perenera, Hurricanes
    3. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Chiefs
    4. Bryn Hall, Crusaders

    First Fives

    1. Beauden Barrett, Hurricanes
    2. Richie Mo’unga, Crusaders
      29. Josh Ioane, Highlanders Otere Black, Blues
    3. Mitchell Hunt, Crusaders

    Midfield

    1. Ryan Crotty, Crusaders
    2. Ma’a Nonu, Blues Sonny Bill Williams
      33 Ngani Laumape, Hurricanes
      34 Jack Goodhue, Crusaders
      35 ALB, Chiefs

    Back Three

    36 Reiko Ioane, Blues
    Waisake Naholo, Highlanders
    37 Ben Smith, Highlanders
    38 Jordie Barrett, Hurricanes
    39 David Havili, Crusaders
    40 George Bridge, Crusaders
    41 Will Jordan, Crusaders

    The easy one for me is SBW over Ma'a. I simply can't see them leaving Sonny Bill at home and Ma'a is still probably 6th in my pecking order.

    I don't think they'll try to prepare two first fives in the limited time available. I think if crisis strikes during the RWC they'll break their own rule and pull in someone from overseas. It would be foolish to throw away the cup in an obvious crisis. So fuck everyone who thinks the world must be black and white forever - I'm prepared to briefly let in a little bit of grey in an emergency. I think that Hansen picked Cameron over Hunt doesn't bode well for Mitch - so I'm going with Otere Black. I'd probably take Marty Banks over Josh Ioane - but I'm only picking three first fives and Naholo makes my squad of 41.

    Liam Squire has been their man for the past 18 months, so I think he edges out Vaia Fifita, though I'd agree his place isn't set in stone if he doesn't show form on his return.

    Final one is a question of balance - Hemopo or Luke Whitelock? I'm not sure they're completely sold on Akira, so I'm going to say Lucky Luke is a bit more likely to make the final 31 than Jackson (who I think they see more as a 6) - so I'm picking him. Could easily be wrong.



  • @Chris-B Black can kick goals, but do you like much else about his play? I'd like to see him playing flatter outside a good halfback though.



  • @Tim I think we're fucked if we don't have at least one of Beauden or Mo'unga playing in the knockout games. Sub in Otere Black for Dan Carter in the semi and/or final in 2015 and I reckon we lose both those games. Danny boy snuffed out the Aussie momentum. And the 2015 squad was better than what we will field this time.

    I reckon Otere is probably the best of a limited bunch. I don't want an unreliable goal-kicker, because that means more compromise in having to play Jordie at fullback. So someone who can make their exit kicks, shovel the ball onwards and not a turnstile in defence.

    To be honest, you've doubtless watched him more and more closely than me - I'm mainly working from a process of elimination and drawing lines through other candidates. Two years ago, I would have picked Marty Banks, but he looks to have lost a yard of pace and was always a bit vulnerable to being pressured.



  • @Chris-B Losing Barrett scares me not because Mo'unga isn't a good player, but because he's got fuck all international experience.



  • @Tim Yeah - I said ages ago that Beauden is locked in as our first choice first five. Hansen has been rewarded by sticking with experience throughout his career (it's how he's got his job), so I can't see him faltering at the last.

    I wouldn't be panicking if we had to play Richie though. He's got big balls - I haven't seen him rein himself in much, even in the biggest matches. Always the risk of a "...Spencer.....MORTLOCK..." though! 🙂



  • @Chris-B said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    I don't think they'll try to prepare two first fives in the limited time available. I think if crisis strikes during the RWC they'll break their own rule and pull in someone from overseas. It would be foolish to throw away the cup in an obvious crisis. So fuck everyone who thinks the world must be black and white forever - I'm prepared to briefly let in a little bit of grey in an emergency

    Like who? Someone whose best days are behind them and no exposure to the game plan?



  • @antipodean If he's recovered from his op. Danny Boy!



  • No one has named Robinson though he is the standout 6 of the SR season so far. Too early ? Hansen spoke of a few players outside the initial list but did not name them, in order not to put too much pressure on them. So who are the potential bolters ? Atu Moli at LHP, Robinson at 6, David Havili as an utility back, Bryn Hall, Will Jordan (might be too early for him).



  • @cgrant reckon there'd be a high risk of Robinson breaking down by that stage of the season. Firat season in the big leagues and all, throw him into test rugby (and he'd need plenty of game time to get up to speed) and he'll be all done halfway through the cup.



  • Shannon Frizell is the form 6 in NZ right now and I see Squire and Fifita fighting for the other place in the squad. Robinson is too green IMO to be seriously considered for the RWC, so there is no point in picking him for TRC.



  • @Chris-B said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    The easy one for me is SBW over Ma'a.

    The fact it is so easy speaks to the selectors stubbornness.

    Unless SBW comes back and plays good rugby it's very difficult to make an argument for SBW over Nonu.

    This would be the end of the line for either, both are experienced, both would be selected as specialist XVs.

    Nonu missed one more full season than SBW this cycle, but SBW is injury prone and has a record of brain explosions in important games.



  • @Chris-B said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    @Tim I think we're fucked if we don't have at least one of Beauden or Mo'unga playing in the knockout games. Sub in Otere Black for Dan Carter in the semi and/or final in 2015 and I reckon we lose both those games. Danny boy snuffed out the Aussie momentum. And the 2015 squad was better than what we will field this time.

    The argument against that would be the 2011 semi-final where you or I could have played 10 a knocked over the second best team in the world, such as was the dominance of the pack. That is a tough mentality to bring three weeks running though and could be exposed by better coaching.

    I'd like to see how our forward pack is going closer to RWC before I'd take solace in that though. At the moment Read coming into the sheds saying "don't worry boys we've got this" doesn't exactly inspire me with confidence with Cane yet to return, Read a shell of himself and a blackhole at six.

    What we can take solace in is that while winning world cups appears pretty difficult a massively flawed team makes the final every year and that could be us. Make the final and who knows.



  • @Rocky-Rockbottom said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    @sparky said in Pick your 41 man squad:

    Reiko Ioane is perhaps one of the few players who is irreplaceable. A world-class finisher and superb all-round wing.

    plus he defends like fluffybunnies are talking shit about his brother

    Holy fuck this post is great.


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