The Search for 6



  • Coming up to RWC and five or six spots for loosies. Cane/Savea/Read bolted in. Which leaves two or three spots.

    Squad suggests these will be chosen from Todd/Fifita/Hemopo/Jacobson/[Frizell]/[Squire].

    We need a 6 who can hit, and if Squire makes himself available I think he'll be in. For me, whilst undoubtedly athletic, Fifita and Frizell haven't shown that they can fill the enforcer role.

    If six bodies taken one ought to cover lock, given BBBR can't be completely relied on. Hemopo fits the bill. Also a good 'tight 6'.

    Which would leave one to travel. Seems TWM see Savea as covering 6 and 8, and that points towards Todd.

    IMO three 7s in the squad is one too many. Haven't seen enough of Jacobson, so I'd plump for Frizell.

    My picks: Cane/Savea/Read/Squire/Hemopo/Frizell.

    Who I think they'll pick: Cane/Todd/Squire/Hemopo/Read/Savea.



  • On the evidence before us the coaches don’t see Savea as an openside so if they take Todd they are only taking two 7’s.

    When Rodders first started some thought openside was his best position and he did play some there. When he surprisingly made the ABs in 03 as a starting number 8 against England there was plenty of shock and surprise (two reactions unsurprisingly expressed during the Mitchell era though...). Wasn’t a great debut for him.

    But as Rodders gained more experience in the role and the combination with Collins and McCaw developed, when Rodders came back into the AB fold under Henry, he became an exceptional player in terms of high work rate, grunt work and linking. Many said he’s not a traditional no.8 but the balance of skills was there.

    I can see what they are trying to do with this loose forward trio. The problem is time is against them and there are question marks about it being where it should be for a RWC campaign that’s on their doorstep.

    There is also the Scott Barrett covering blindside option which in a RWC squad scenario is attractive. May allow them to carry another lock.



  • Real shame Jacobson hasn't got more of a run. Looked good. Hopefully squire makes himself available but I don't think he will. Really unsure. Probably Hemopo as he can can cover lock too. But knowing shag, he'll probably pick Fifita.



  • @Yeetyaah said in The Search for 6:

    Real shame Jacobson hasn't got more of a run. Looked good. Hopefully squire makes himself available but I don't think he will. Really unsure. Probably Hemopo as he can can cover lock too. But knowing shag, he'll probably pick Fifita.

    I think Scooter will cover six against heavyweights. With Patty T inking himself yesterday Jackson misses.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in The Search for 6:

    On the evidence before us the coaches don’t see Savea as an openside so if they take Todd they are only taking two 7’s.

    When Rodders first started some thought openside was his best position and he did play some there. When he surprisingly made the ABs in 03 as a starting number 8 against England there was plenty of shock and surprise (two reactions unsurprisingly expressed during the Mitchell era though...). Wasn’t a great debut for him.

    But as Rodders gained more experience in the role and the combination with Collins and McCaw developed, when Rodders came back into the AB fold under Henry, he became an exceptional player in terms of high work rate, grunt work and linking. Many said he’s not a traditional no.8 but the balance of skills was there.

    I can see what they are trying to do with this loose forward trio. The problem is time is against them and there are question marks about it being where it should be for a RWC campaign that’s on their doorstep.

    There is also the Scott Barrett covering blindside option which in a RWC squad scenario is attractive. May allow them to carry another lock.

    I see that, but ask yourself who plays if Savea injured. Todd not really a LFL option. Probably Fifita closest, can cover 8 and lineout bonus.

    Then for last loosie Todd or Squire, if available.



  • Ardie-Cane-Read will be the first choice back row for South Africa, Italy and the knockouts if the ABs get there.

    But there questions to ask beyond that. Who covers 6 and 8 to give Ardie and Read some rest for either the Namibia or Canada games? What happens if Ardie or Read are injured less than 48 hours before a test?


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