Wellington Lions 2020



  • Will have a stab at this years squad including those already ruled out with injury. Looks like slim pickings due to injuries, unless we sign players to bulk up the squad (Savea included)

    Props:

    • Xavier Numia (out for season)
    • Fraser Armstrong (out for season)
    • Morgan Poi
    • Alex Fidow
    • Kaliopasi Uluilakepa
    • Jarred Adams (rumoured to have signed but still unlikely)
    • anyone else?

    Hookers:

    • Dane Coles
    • Asafo Aumua
    • Tyrone Thompson

    Locks:

    • James Blackwell
    • Vaea Fifita
    • Taine Plumtree
    • Hugo Plummer

    Loose Forwards:

    • Teariki Ben-Nicholas
    • Ardie Savea
    • Du’Plessis Kirifi
    • Caleb Delaney
    • Josh Southall

    First Fives:

    • Jackson Garden-Bachop
    • Trent Renata
    • Aiden Morgan
    • Ruben Love

    Centres:

    • Thomas Umaga Jensen (injured)
    • Peter Umaga-Jensen
    • Billy Proctor
    • Keinan Higgins

    Outside Backs:

    • Wes Goosen
    • Vince Aso
    • Julian Savea (???)
    • Connor Garden-Bachop ( injured???)


  • Where is Tane Te Aho in the pecking order for Wellington hookers?



  • I hate to say it, but don't you need four hookers, and will that fourth be James O'Reilly?

    Props: maybe Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe? Didn't get game time in Hawke's Bay, last year, but now playing club rugby in Wellington. Maybe Wellington signed him (I have no idea)? And is Tolu Fahamokioa back playing club rugby?

    Locks: is Ah Kuoi still contracted to Wellington, or has he moved to Waikato for NPC, too?

    First-fives: no Callum Harkin?

    Outside backs: I've seen on instagram that Malo Tuitama is in Wellington; don't know whether he's playing club rugby. Other names: Losi Filipo and Saia Paese (haven't seen him play club rugby, but he's playing in Wellington).

    I guess Wellington doesn't need halfbacks? 😀

    • TJ Perenara
    • Kemara Hauiti-Parapara
    • Jono Hickey?
    • Isaac Bracewell?


  • @Stargazer I don't recall seeing O'Reilly on the team sheets recently but may have overlooked. Think Ben Power has been starting.



  • @Bones Yes, you're right. O'Reilly only played in the first round of club rugby. Either he's injured, or he's moved somewhere else.

    Another option might be Leni Apisai, who is playing club rugby in Wellington. I assume he's no longer contracted to Auckland?



  • Mateaki Kafatolu Has been in the squad the last 2 or 3 years also Filipo is currently joint top try scorer and will be included in the squad.



  • @Canes4life What about the winger Pepesana Patefilo from last years squad? I haven't seen his name for Tawa in club rugby this year



  • @Stargazer said in Wellington Lions 2020:

    I guess Wellington doesn't need halfbacks?

    You make a valid point. 😉

    Oh yup, I think Ah Koui is still contracted to Wellington so he will most likely start alongside Blackwell.

    Interesting to see Harkin has moved away from halfback, he looked really good there before he broke his ankle in a pre season game for the Hurricanes against the Crusaders a couple of seasons ago. Connor Collins is another that will most likely be in the mix after playing last year. Also, TJ Va'a might be in the first five equation aswell.

    Malo Tuitama will be a nice addition, I'd actually rather prefer him to Julian Savea. He is a great finisher and is probably in the similar mould to the likes of Telea & Reece. Hopefully he has signed.



  • Watched Kaliopasi Uluilakepa and Mateaki Kafatolu both play for Petone on Saturday. Uluilakepa looked to be about 15 to 20 kg overweight and did nothing scrumming wise to inspire any confidence in him in that aspect (until the Axemen bench props came on and made it not so difficult for him) but did come into his own a little bit in the second half with a couple of mid field bashes when his team had most of the ball and were on top of the smaller Axemen pack. Kafetolu had his first run for the season (at No. Eight) but did not really notice him until I spotted him in a lineout about ten minutes into the second half. Cannot really give an opinion on his play because I did not watch him very closely at all. Seemed to be OK fitness wise though. Fahamokioa actually turns out for Norths these days and has been on the bench for all others games this season and likewise for Tawa during the latter part of last season so not sure whether he is recovering from injury or the desire to play at the top is still there. We can certainly count out another Tawa front row player from any involvement with the Lions from now on.
    From what I heard pre covid Fifita was exploring overseas options (and who can blame him after being permanently overlooked for Reed Princep at the Hurricanes!) although things might have changed since then with the drastic salary reductions, back to reality, happening up there.



  • Thomas Umaga-Jensen to Otago?



  • Connor Garden-Bachop made his return to club footy on Saturday for Norths. I thought he was out for the season so it's good to see him back and running around just before the NPC kicks off.



  • https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/122566392/mitre-10-cup-wellington-coachs-headache-where-to-fit-julian-savea-in

    Wellington, though, has strong midfield stocks with Hurricanes Peter Umaga-Jensen, Vince Aso and Billy Proctor
    

    Aso is better on the wing. His defence is flakey in the midfield.

    Savea at 12 and PUJ at 13? Proctor struggles to make the 23?



  • Proctor has spent time at fullback.



  • @Duluth I'd like to see a backline of: 9. Perenara 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Proctor 13. Umaga-Jensen 14. Goosen 15. Garden-Bachop, with Savea rampaging off the bench.

    I'm keen for Wellington to persist with Proctor somewhere in the backline, he's still only 21 so has plenty of time on his side.



  • @Canes4life said in Wellington Lions 2020:

    @Duluth I'd like to see a backline of: 9. Perenara 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Proctor 13. Umaga-Jensen 14. Goosen 15. Garden-Bachop, with Savea rampaging off the bench.

    I'm keen for Wellington to persist with Proctor somewhere in the backline, he's still only 21 so has plenty of time on his side.

    Proctor will likely come good soon enough. But he's been a bit disappointment so far. But then so was PUJ until he finally stepped up. My view is he still needs to bulk up.

    With Savea, Wellington signed him so he needs a chance in his preferred position (2nd 5) so I would like to see in one game

    1. Perenara 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Savea 13. Umaga-Jensen 14. Goosen 15. Proctor

    If he performs keep him there or as a backup midfielder

    Its a big loss that our top two LH props are out (when did Armstrong move to Wellington?)



  • @Winger said in Wellington Lions 2020:

    @Canes4life said in Wellington Lions 2020:

    @Duluth I'd like to see a backline of: 9. Perenara 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Proctor 13. Umaga-Jensen 14. Goosen 15. Garden-Bachop, with Savea rampaging off the bench.

    I'm keen for Wellington to persist with Proctor somewhere in the backline, he's still only 21 so has plenty of time on his side.

    Proctor will likely come good soon enough. But he's been a bit disappointment so far. But then so was PUJ until he finally stepped up. My view is he still needs to bulk up.

    With Savea, Wellington signed him so he needs a chance in his preferred position (2nd 5) so I would like to see in one game

    1. Perenara 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Savea 13. Umaga-Jensen 14. Goosen 15. Proctor

    If he performs keep him there or as a backup midfielder

    Its a big loss that our top two LH props are out (when did Armstrong move to Wellington?)

    The coach has already said that Savea might have his ideas but they know where he has been proven in the past so will think of him there.
    Sounds quite blinkered but I guess that if they think they can get value from him out wide they will try.



  • @Winger He probably has been a disappointment but I don't think he's fully matured, like PUJ I think we need to give him time to develop properly before making too much judgment. If he's still playing like this in a year or two then we have a problem.

    Giving Savea a go in the midfield will also come down to whether we have signed TUJ, if we have then I can't see Savea jumping our strong centre options.



  • @Canes4life check Otago rugby Facebook, he's on the injured list for Otago, he's signed with Otago now



  • @Canes4life said in Wellington Lions 2020:

    @Duluth I'd like to see a backline of: 9. Perenara 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Proctor 13. Umaga-Jensen 14. Goosen 15. Garden-Bachop, with Savea rampaging off the bench.

    I'm keen for Wellington to persist with Proctor somewhere in the backline, he's still only 21 so has plenty of time on his side.

    There are two Garden-Bachop in your backline.



  • @cgrant
    Jackson and Connor....



  • OK, thanks.



  • @NateHill74 cool cool. Shame we lost TUJ but I guess it's the problem we have when we are so stacked in one position.



  • How does O'Reilly still have a contract? Surely after the cocaine incident, this would be a massive black mark against his name. It's not like Wellington are short of decent hookers.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/122589125/wellington-hooker-james-oreilly-gets-fiveweek-ban-for-abusing-referee-when-water-boy



  • @Canes4life Yep, Coles, Aumua and Tyrone Thompson. Not sure about the fourth.



  • @Canes4life jeez what a fuckwit.



  • https://www.wrfu.co.nz/news/post/wellington-lions-squad-named-for-2020-mitre-10-cup/News/detail/
    Interstellar there’s 4 players that play or can play 10 excluding TJ



  • @mikey07 So indeed, Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe in the squad. I wondered whether Wellington had signed him when I noticed he was playing club rugby in Wellington. It will be interesting to see if he can get more game time for the Lions.



  • The Wellington Lions squad for the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup is:

    Naitoa Ah Kuoi

    Fraser Armstrong

    Vince Aso

    Asafo Aumua

    Ben Aumua-Peseta

    Teariki Ben-Nicholas

    James Blackwell

    Dane Coles

    Connor Collins

    Caleb Delaney

    Alex Fidow

    Vaea Fifita

    Connor Garden-Bachop

    Jackson Garden-Bachop

    Wes Goosen

    Callum Harkin

    Kemara Hauiti-Parapara

    Mateaki Kafatolu

    Du'Plessis Kirifi

    Ruben Love

    Aidan Morgan

    Xavier Numia

    James O'Reilly

    Pepesana Patafilo

    TJ Perenara

    Taine Plumtree

    Morgan Poi

    James Poloniati

    Billy Proctor

    Trent Renata

    Ardie Savea

    Julian Savea

    Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe

    Tyronne Thompson

    Kaliopasi Uluilakepa

    Peter Umaga-Jensen



  • Good depth in most positions but we look piss poor in the propping department with the loss of our two first-choice loose-head props.



  • @Stargazer can he play both sides?



  • @Canes4life I know him as a TH. Not sure I've ever seen him play at LH. During this year's club rugby season, he played all frontrow positions, I think, but that doesn't mean much at a higher level.



  • @Stargazer I forgot Callum Harkins been playing 10 for OBU.

    I’m sure he will if the rumours of Armstrong and Numia being done for the season.

    On a side note good to see Reuben Love on the bench for Wainui this weekend he must’ve been injured or the WRU had wrapped him up in cotton wool.



  • @Canes4life said in Wellington Lions 2020:

    Good depth in most positions but we look piss poor in the propping department with the loss of our two first-choice loose-head props.

    JGB would go well in there 😂



  • @mikey07 better yet, Julian Savea. 😛



  • @Canes4life Can we get them at 1 and 3 respectively?



  • Top XXIII's with and without ABs?



  • @mikey07 what's Piri doing? He could be fairly handy unfront. 😃



  • First XV

    Armstrong / Numia
    Coles / Aumua
    Fidow
    Ah Kuoi
    Blackwell
    Fifta / TBN
    Kirifi
    A Savea
    Perenara
    JGB
    J Savea
    Aso
    PUJ
    Patafilo
    Goosen

    Not sure on the back 3 make up, there is no standout fullback in that squad to me at this stage.

    Keen to see the youngsters - Morgan, Plumtree, & Love & a lot of names I don't recognise.

    It's a pretty strong top 15 at NPC level.

    Still not sold on B Proctor, and surprised Renata makes the squad.



  • @Tim With Numia and Armstrong out for the season here are my picks on squads with and without ABs:

    With All Blacks: 1. Poi 2. Coles 3. Fidow 4. Blackwell (most likely) 5. Ah Koui 6. Fifita 7. Kirifi 8. Savea 9. Perenara 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Umaga-Jensen 13. Proctor 14. Goosen 15. Garden-Bachop 16. Aumua 17. Tevita Metcalfe 18. Uluilakepa 19. Plumtree 20. Ben-Nicholas 21. Collins 22. Love/Morgan 23. Savea

    Without All Blacks: 1. Poi 2. Thompson 3. Fidow 4. Blackwell 5. Ah Koui 6. Fifita 7. Kirifi 8. Ben-Nicholas 9. Collins 10. Garden-Bachop 11. Aso 12. Umaga-Jensen (might be a bolter for ABs) 13. Proctor 14. Goosen 15. Garden-Bachop 16. O'Reilly 17. Tevita Metcalfe 18. Uluilakepa 19. Plumtree 20. Delaney 21. Hauiti Parapara 22. Love/Morgan 23. Savea



  • No Patafilo canes4life? He's been pretty dangerous last few years at NPC level.

    How do you rate the younger GB? Haven't seen much of him myself.


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