Forwards for the All Blacks squad



  • After a discussion on the back line let's try the forwards.
    Starting forwards I expect to see Moody,Coles,Franks,Whitelock,Retallick,Kaino,Cane and Read
    On the bench I would go with
    Faumuina,Crockett,Cody Taylor,Dixon and Todd
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  • I'd pick very similar:
     
    Moody, Coles, Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock, Retallick, Kaino, Cane, Read.
     
    Bench: Crockett, Cody Taylor, Faumuina, Elliot Dixon, Ardie Savea.



  • only questionable ones there are probably your loose forward reserves...
     
    Be plenty of pumping for Savea the thinner, Dixon should go close though.



  • If Tuipulotu can recapture his form he'll be in the squad and likely on the bench.  I like Dixon but want to see evidence he can play as a lock - he's more of a 6/8.  For that reason I think Thomson would be a better reserve for the ABs.



  • Ardie shits all over Todd. Ardie is far more dynamic and I would even go as far to say that he could even push Cane for a starters jersey. He is the Hurricanes best player by a long way and I would love to see him pull on the All Black jersey in 2016. However its more likely he will end up pulling on a sevens jersey come olympic time.



  • My All Blacks pack for 2016 would be:

    1. Joe Moody (Crusaders)
    2. Dane Coles (Hurricanes)
    3. Charlie Faumauina (Blues)
    4. Brodie Rettalick (Chiefs)
    5. Sam Whitelock (Crusaders)
    6. Elliot Dixon (Highlanders)
    7. Sam Cane (Chiefs)
    8. Keiran Read (Crusaders)
       
      Reserves:
    9. Codie Taylor (Crusaders)
    10. Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)
    11. Owen Franks (Crusaders)
    12. Blade Thomson (Hurricanes)
    13. Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)


  • Have to remember Elliot Dixon has played quite a lot on the downside for the Highlanders over the last few years, when there's been injuries. So he can quite easily take on the bench role covering all three spots. Also listening to Hansen on Veitch over the weekend, it seems like all he needs to do is maintain form in order to be picked.



  • Also being a one eyed Highlanders fan, I reckon Liam Squire could offer good cover in that loosie/lock bench cover.



  • Ardie shits all over Todd. Ardie is far more dynamic and I would even go as far to say that he could even push Cane for a starters jersey. He is the Hurricanes best player by a long way and I would love to see him pull on the All Black jersey in 2016. However its more likely he will end up pulling on a sevens jersey come olympic time.

    Combinations > Individuals. I could see Ardie being selected for the EOYT but as an impact player off the bench.
     
    So who's out? From what I can remember there's:
    Injured: Laulala, Manu
    Sevens: Ardie, Ioane, Messam
    Gorne: Vito



  • A good way to look at it is to see who we have lost and then try to fill the gaps as most of the remaining guys from last year will probably get a shot to prove they are or aren't up to it still.
    Mccaw> Ardie: just has to be given a go if 7's doesn't get in the way) Todd also in with a chance.
    Woodcock> Moody: Was already there last year and will push Crockett hard for the starting spot. Looks like we might need to find another prop or two with the injuries to Laulala and Manu.
    Messam> Dixon: Has been playing really well for a while and has been talked about by Hansen apparently.
    Vito> Blade Thompson?: Covers that Blindside/Lock role that is valuable on the bench. Ioane worth a mention for this spot or the one above if sevens allows.
    Thrush> Pat T and Romano are back from injury, Broadhurst still injured but could find his form from last year again.
    Mealamu> Hika?
     
    First choice for me is:
    Moody (or Crockett, I don't know enough about props to decide)
    Coles
    Franks
    BBBR
    Whitelock
    Kaino
    Cane
    Read
     
    A Savea and the rest on the bench.



  • Not picked savea cause he will be playing 7's
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  • I'd say Tuipulotu is a near certainty - he has been long term project with big upside if he develops well.
    I'd also guess Akira Ioane is a near certainty for the EOYT.



  • Moody has been excellent. I would definitely start him & franks with bench impact from faimuiaina & Crockett.
    I expect faimuiaina to jump ship after 2017 as his stated aim was becoming the first choice TH and I don't think he'll do it. Unless franks also heads overseas :(.
    Is Laulala a chance for the EOYT or are we looking at his return in 2017 only??



  • Steve Luatau is likely to be in the squad as well. I think Blake Gibson will be an All Black by the end of 2016. Brendon Edmonds can't be far away from a call up at Prop.



  • I like the look of Ardie Savea. Every Hurricanes game I have watched he has had something special about him. Could be the player we need to quieten down this Pocock is now the greatest stuff from over the other side of the Tasman.



  • Steve Luatau is likely to be in the squad as well. I think Blake Gibson will be an All Blacks by the end of 2016. Brendon Edmonds can't be far away from a call up at Prop.

    The ABs have invested heavily in Cane and he isn't exactly doing anything wrong. He may not be as dynamic as Ardie but he is playing a McCaw like role in getting to every breakdown and making a massive amount of effective tackles. 
    As good as Gibson may look, I can't see him (barring injury) forcing his way up the pecking order.



  • The ABs have invested heavily in Cane and he isn't exactly doing anything wrong. He may not be as dynamic as Ardie but he is playing a McCaw like role in getting to every breakdown and making a massive amount of effective tackles.
    As good as Gibson may look, I can't see him (barring injury) forcing his way up the pecking order.
    Yep, Cane very much the first choice open side, Ardie the back up 7, Gibson to get a debut against Italy.



  • A player who has really impressed me so far is vaea fifita of the Hurricanes
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  • Yep, Fifita has made more metres than Dixon with less game time. He also has a better tackling percentage, so far, and has made nearly as many tackles and is a handy lineout option. Also, Liam Squire, with much less game time (roughly half), has made the same number of metres with the ball as Dixon and has made 3/4 of the number of tackles (so more per min on the field), with a much better completion percentage.



  • Where do you get this information?



  • Completely forgot about Luatua in my list. Man we have some depth in the back row.



  • Where do you get this information?

    NZ Herald site. They get their stats from Opta, I believe, who supply the NZ super rugby teams with statistics. So it should be pretty accurate.
     
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/statscentre.cfm



  • Thanks



  • Where do you get this information?

    If you navigate through the options available in this link you will find what you are looking for
     
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/statscentre.cfm?



  • I'm surprised that people are mentioning Manu at prop. He was 4th choice at best last year, and hasn't looked good this year.



  • Pity you only get season totals though (unless I am driving it wrong).
    I was interested in seeing what Canes tackle count was against the Force which was looking huge during the first half but probably tailed off once the Chiefs blew them away.



  • It's interesting to speculate about the make up of Hansen's All Black squads this year, and the forward contingent within these squads.
     
    The best hint to what Hansen will do in the future is to look at what he has done in the past. You can't really look at last year because they used an expanded squad for the RC and the RWC squad had slightly different requirements. So if you look at Hansen's 2014 squads, he selected a 31 man squad for the Rugby Championship comprised of 18 forwards and 13 backs. Of those 18 forwards he went with the following split; 2 hookers, 5 props, 4 locks, 7 loosies. I think their 2016 squads are likely to conform to this structure. So assuming that Savea, Ioane and Messam are unavailable because of 7s duties, Nepo Laulala is injured and NH bound Vito is not required unless we are desperate, I think Hansen's 31 man squad for Wales will look a bit like this;
     
    Hookers:
     
    Coles
    Taylor (I'm not sold on him yet but he took his limited opportunities last year and didn't let anyone down when he was on the field. The fact that the Crusaders set piece is the best of the NZ teams won't hurt his chances either)
     
    Props:
     
    Franks
    Faumuina
    Crockett
    Moody

    • 1 more prop - I suspect Hansen will want to bring a youngster. This could be based on potential rather than what they have actually achieved. I'm going to be controversial and suggest Ofa Tuungafasi.
       
      Locks:
       
      Whitelock
      Retallick
      Romano
      Tuipulotu
       
      Loosies:
       
      Read
      Kaino
      Cane
      Dixon
      Todd
      Luatua
      Liam Squires


  • Don't forget the policy that has injured players return for a chance.
    Nathan Harris come on down



  • Pity you only get season totals though (unless I am driving it wrong).
    I was interested in seeing what Canes tackle count was against the Force which was looking huge during the first half but probably tailed off once the Chiefs blew them away.

    Try the Vodacom Super Rugby app. It'll give you a breakdown per round.
    It lists Cane ad having made 10 tackles. I've got no idea how accurate it is.



  • Try the Vodacom Super Rugby app. It'll give you a breakdown per round.
    It lists Cane ad having made 10 tackles. I've got no idea how accurate it is.

    Thanks for that! 
     
    The stats in the app align perfectly with what is on the NZ Herald website, so they are legit.



  • Don't forget the policy that has injured players return for a chance.
    Nathan Harris come on down

    I think Nathan Harris will struggle to earn a recall to the test team. He came into the AB squad when depth at hooker was arguably at an all time low, and I don't remember him doing anything much. Codie Taylor is not close to being the finished product yet, but he can run an accurate lineout and he's by far the more athletic of the two. The beauty of Taylor is that he can play the same role as Coles, and make an impact off the bench. Harris never struck me as being an impact player.



  • I think Nathan Harris will struggle to earn a recall to the test team. He came into the AB squad when depth at hooker was arguably at an all time low, and I don't remember him doing anything much. Codie Taylor is not close to being the finished product yet, but he can run an accurate lineout and he's by far the more athletic of the two. The beauty of Taylor is that he can play the same role as Coles, and make an impact off the bench. Harris never struck me as being an impact player.

    After 21 minutes of test rugby over two games I'd be surprised if he did imprint himself on you, however he did score a try in that short time.
     
    It may be that he has los his chance but the point I was making is that the selectors have a policy that you don't unselect yourself solely through getting injured.
    Now, if he was unable to get much time in Super Rugby from form selection then maybe that surpasses this AB policy but I wouldn't be surprised if he is on a plan to be firing toward the end of the Super comp.
    At the time he was selected he was seen as being 'Coles-like'. That is why they went for him. They may still be interested.



  • Cody Taylor is definately the second hooker picked now. Have followed his career very closely since he started playing club rugby down here.
     
    He has obviously worked very hard during the off season, and has started the season in excellent form.



  • I'm shocked and surprised to see the posters from down south declaring a position for one of their own!
     
    Who'd have thought eh?



  • I'm shocked and surprised to see the posters from down south declaring a position for one of their own!
     
    Who'd have thought eh?

    I don't think it's that controversial suggesting that RWC winner Codie Taylor might be ahead of Nathan Harris on Hansen's pecking order.



  • Cody Taylor is from Levin. The All Black coaches have mentioned his outstanding off field work ethic in the past, which I assume is why he was selected above Hika. Not what you'd expect from someone from that part of the world!
     
    I think he will be the number 2 hooker come the June internationals.



  • I'm shocked and surprised to see the posters from down south declaring a position for one of their own!
     
    Who'd have thought eh?

    Gibson over Todd demonstrates there's those types everywhere Crucial 🙂



  • I'm shocked and surprised to see the posters from down south declaring a position for one of their own!
     
    Who'd have thought eh?

    Fair enough, and to be honest I can't offer an opinion on Harris. 
     
    I don't even know what he looks like.



  • Don't twist things into me saying Taylor isn't currently the backup hooker option. Because he plainly is.
     
    I'm simply saying that if you are talking about forwards getting a chance this year don't rule out Harris.



  • Taylor ended up being in the right place at the right time, i.e., Harris was already injured and the other hooker in the 2015 pre-RWC squad (Elliot) got injured too so never had another opportunity after Apia.  While Taylor might have the inside running now, the backup to Coles would still be up for grabs based on Super rugby form.
     
    I don't think Taylor was in that group of hookers looked at in early 2015 either (e.g. Coltman).  Funnell could have been "rated" ahead of him at that point too.


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