All Blacks vs Wales



  • When June roles around I would love to see this side run out to tackle the Welsh. Let the debate begin!!

    1. Wyatt Crockett
    2. Dane Coles
    3. Owen Franks
    4. Brodie Rettalick
    5. Sam Whitelock
    6. Jerome Kaino
    7. Sam Cane
    8. Keiran Read (c)
    9. Aaron Smith
    10. Beauden Barrett
    11. Julian Savea
    12. Charlie Ngatai
    13. Malakai Fekitoa
    14. Ben Smith (Cover 13)
    15. Damian McKenzie (Goal Kicker)
      Reserves:
    16. Codie Taylor
    17. Joe Moody
    18. Charlie Faumauina
    19. Blade Thomson (Covers 4, 5, 6, 😎
    20. Ardie Savea
    21. Brad Webber
    22. Aaron Cruden
    23. Israel Dagg


  • Steven Luatua covers 4, 6 and 8. More physical than Thompson IMO.
    Ngatai and Crotty in midfield if you want to deliver good munitions to the back three.
    Moody instead of Crockett who reverses to the bench.
    Crusaders fans would want to see Dagg rather than McKenzie at FB but I'll back the latter because it is a good occasion to test him at the highest level.



  • I dont believe Cruden carries any value from the bench, similarly Sopoaga, so if they dont start, they dont make the 23...that being said, I think Cruden will start and BB will be the supersub on the bench, starting to look like he is in competition for that role with D-Mac, but with him on the bench, opens a space for Crotty (or Fekitoa depending on who ever you start)



  • Awful lot of fullback, and very little midfield cover in there C4L.
    Hard to argue with the starting pack.
    Cruden for Barrett.
    Dagg for Dmac.
    Crotty or Fekitoa to the bench with Barrett.
    Dmac in the squad.
    And TKB for Weber.



  • Actually, Moody to start over Crockett is a pretty likely scenario.
    Also, Luatua should be selected and if so, might be a better better than Thomson (although, I'd prefer the lock/loosies cover to be more lock than loosie). So would be looking at Tuipolotu, Big Barrett, Thomson or one of the young pups there. Suddenly a strong position for us.
    I'm picking Dagg to start with Cruden. Agree with TR, if he doesn't start he's not that useful (unless you play both Barrett & Dmac as C4L suggested). Can't see it. Barrett vs Dmac for the bench spot - still Barrett's for now.



  • Steven Luatua covers 4, 6 and 8. More physical than Thompson IMO.
    Ngatai and Crotty in midfield if you want to deliver good munitions to the back three.
    Moody instead of Crockett who reverses to the bench.
    Crusaders fans would want to see Dagg rather than McKenzie at FB but I'll back the latter because it is a good occasion to test him at the highest level.

    McKenzie and Smith are in front of Dagg and Smith only moves to the right wing because Damian is too hard to ignore. Dagg has to prove himself against other NZ sides before I would consider him to be a starter. 
     
    Luatua is more physical but Thomson has a higher skill set and is more mobile than Luatua. I believe he covers lock better a swell.



  • Awful lot of fullback, and very little midfield cover in there C4L.
    Hard to argue with the starting pack.
    Cruden for Barrett.
    Dagg for Dmac.
    Crotty or Fekitoa to the bench with Barrett.
    Dmac in the squad.
    And TKB for Weber.

    B Smith can move to Centre. Fekitoa can move to 2nd five. That was my thinking behind those selections. Ryan Crotty just doesn't cut it for me, but I know he will be picked. He's just a journeyman type player in my view. I guess he will be the new Thrush of the All Blacks moving forward - a safe player who doesn't really set the world on fire by himself, however is solid enough to warrant international selection with his ability to contribute without doing much wrong.



  • YOu are happy to move Ben Smith to 13, but describe Crotty as a journeyman....There is a reaosn they havent played Ben Smith at 13 since, what, 2013?



  • YOu are happy to move Ben Smith to 13, but describe Crotty as a journeyman....There is a reaosn they havent played Ben Smith at 13 since, what, 2013?

    That's because I rate Smith a better centre than Crotty and believe he will do a better job covering that position.  
     
    Crotty is a journeyman. You wouldn't even consider him if SBW was around. 
     
    They also played Smith at 12 when they lost Nonu against the Safas in 2014. Hansen and co obviously respect his ability to be Mr fix it.



  • just seems daft to not only move the best 15 in the game from 15 to 14, where he is also world class, but possibly to 13 where he is a journeyman, at the very best...when we dont really need to be squeezing so much in the backline and bench;
     
    A Smith, Cruden, J Savea, Ngatai, Crotty, Smith, Dagg
    TKB, Fekitoa, BB
     
    Is where I'd go, Ngatai and Crotty are interchangable (both can play the other) Fekitoa can play 12 or wing if need be, BB is your back up 10/15, obviously Smith is back up 15 too.



  • Why is everyone so fixated with starting Dagg?? Really... He plays a couple good games for the Crusaders and everyone has him locked in at Fullback.
     
    Questionable when McKenzie has simply been the best outside in NZ by far. He has been on fire for the Chiefs and he has the ability to kick goals aswell.
     
    I guess its so hard to fit all these talented players into one match day squad..
     
    Just goes to show the depth in New Zealand Rugby is as strong as ever.
     
     
     
     
    .



  • Why is everyone so fixated with starting Dagg?? Really... He plays a couple good games for the Crusaders and everyone has him locked in at Fullback.
     
    Questionable when McKenzie has simply been the best outside in NZ by far. He has been on fire for the Chiefs and he has the ability to kick goals aswell.
     
     
    .

    Class over many years at the highest level



  • I think Daggs experience will win the day, already gonna be 4 other changes to the backline thst started the RWC final, not sure D-Mac will be rushed in...right now, I think he could push for the super-sub bench spot BB currently holds (in my team)



  • Class over many years at the highest level

    Don't get me wrong I think Dagg is a class player and I hope he can get back to the top of the International scene but I just really love what I'm seeing from Damian. Maybe its just me wanting too much too soon but I watched this kid at Westpac on Saturday and he just oozed class for such a young kid. He wouldn't look out of place starting for the All Blacks, that's for sure.



  • Whichever way you cut it, it's going to be a really shit month for Wales 😞



  • Dmac definitely has the class and the form. There are 3 10s and 3 15s who are easily AB class, and 2 of them can play both 10/15 (i.e., the super-Sub bench spot).
    Right now, I'd pick Bender on the wing with either Dmac or Dagg at the back.
    Interesting question will be whether all 6 get selected. Seems like 1 too many - how big is the squad? Who'll be unlucky?



  • 30???
     
    Outsides would have to be: Savea, Smith, McKenzie, Dagg (Ngatai and Barrett can also cover Fullback)
    On the cusp: Lowe
    Injured: Nahalo, NMS, Ranger
    Sevens: R Ioane
    Too Old: Jane



  • Don't get me wrong I think Dagg is a class player and I hope he can get back to the top of the International scene but I just really love what I'm seeing from Damian. Maybe its just me wanting too much too soon but I watched this kid at Westpac on Saturday and he just oozed class for such a young kid. He wouldn't look out of place starting for the All Blacks, that's for sure.

    Don't disagree at all but you asked.



  • Don't get me wrong I think Dagg is a class player and I hope he can get back to the top of the International scene but I just really love what I'm seeing from Damian. Maybe its just me wanting too much too soon but I watched this kid at Westpac on Saturday and he just oozed class for such a young kid. He wouldn't look out of place starting for the All Blacks, that's for sure.

    So you're saying DMac is the Cullen to Daggs Glen Osborne ?



  • My predicted team for the first test against Wales, form and fitness pending;
     
     
    15. Ben Smith
    14. Waisake Naholo
    13. Malakai Fekitoa
    12. Ryan Crotty
    11. Julian Savea
    10. Aaron Cruden
    9. Aaron Smith
     
    8. Kieran Read (c)
    7. Sam Cane
    6. Jerome Kaino
    5. Sam Whitelock
    4. Brodie Rettalick
    3. Owen Franks
    2. Dane Coles

    1. Joe Moody
    2. Codie Taylor
    3. Wyatt Crockett
    4. Charlie Faumuina
    5. Luke Romano
    6. Ardie Savea
    7. Brad Weber
    8. Beaudan Barrett
    9. Damian McKenzie
       
      Very similar to the OP, but some key differences as well. I think Hansen will be keen to give players like McKenzie, Savea and Weber plenty of minutes, but off the bench. No point in stuffing up a young players confidence by throwing them to the wolves too early on. I also can't see the point of playing a utility player at no.19, when you've got lots of coverage already. Just stick with three specialist locks, especially against a tall Welsh lineout. Sadly no room for Dagg in my 23 at this stage, I may need to hand in my Cantab card. He's looking good, but if he's not starting at fullback he's not in the team IMO, given his relative lack of utility value. He'll be in the squad though, and if anything happens to Ben Smith he's our starting fullback.


  • I'm quite interested to see people just accepting DMac is a 10. He's going great guns at 15, no doubt and of course he's played 10 in the past. But I can't even recall when that was, or if he put in a half decent performance? I'd be concerned going into a test match against any tier 1 with him as our 10 off the bench (at this stage).



  • As Steve is fond of pointing out; the class of players is how well they stand up at the business end of the competition.



  • That's because I rate Smith a better centre than Crotty and believe he will do a better job covering that position.

    On what basis?



  • Dmac definitely has the class and the form. There are 3 10s and 3 15s who are easily AB class, and 2 of them can play both 10/15 (i.e., the super-Sub bench spot).

    3 x 10s? Add in Lima as well



  • My predicted team for the first test against Wales, form and fitness pending;
    15. Ben Smith
    14. Waisake Naholo
    13. Malakai Fekitoa
    12. Ryan Crotty
    11. Julian Savea
    10. Aaron Cruden
    9. Aaron Smith
    8. Kieran Read (c)
    7. Sam Cane
    6. Jerome Kaino
    5. Sam Whitelock
    4. Brodie Rettalick
    3. Owen Franks
    2. Dane Coles

    1. Joe Moody
    2. Codie Taylor
    3. Wyatt Crockett
    4. Charlie Faumuina
    5. Luke Romano
    6. Ardie Savea
    7. Brad Weber
    8. Beaudan Barrett
    9. Damian McKenzie
      Very similar to the OP, but some key differences as well. I think Hansen will be keen to give players like McKenzie, Savea and Weber plenty of minutes, but off the bench. No point in stuffing up a young players confidence by throwing them to the wolves too early on. I also can't see the point of playing a utility player at no.19, when you've got lots of coverage already. Just stick with three specialist locks, especially against a tall Welsh lineout. Sadly no room for Dagg in my 23 at this stage, I may need to hand in my Cantab card. He's looking good, but if he's not starting at fullback he's not in the team IMO, given his relative lack of utility value. He'll be in the squad though, and if anything happens to Ben Smith he's our starting fullback.

    Pretty close I reckon.
    Have doubts about Naholo and his fitness. I'm leaving righr wing open on that basis
    BB and DMac won't both mae the match day squad barring several injuries. BB for me.
    So bring in another midfielder to replace DMac. That's Ngatai. But he starts at 12. Fekitoa drops to the bench and covers wing.
    I think you're right with Romano, but wouldn't mind Tupolotu or Luatua.



  • It does beg the question: are we picking a full on 1st XV/XXIII?
    Do we think they want to make a statement first up? Or will there be elements of squad development?
    Certainly will be tweaks throughout the series, but will they include any in the first game?
    There are plenty of guys in and around the fringes who will get a chance on rotation i reckon.
    Surprisingly I'm a little perplexed about where all the wingers are given Naholo and NMS aren't a hundy. In a non-Olympic year I'd have a close look at Ioane.
    I am dead set against moving Ben Smith.



  • 3 x 10s? Add in Lima as well

    Like Bones, I wasn't counting Dmac as an out and out 10.
    So:
    Cruden, Barrett, Sopoaga
    Bender, Dagg, Dmac



  • So when you said 2 of the 10s could play 15 as well you meant Dagg? 🙂



  • But yes. Follow your numbers now. Just looked at the 10s and read that as 2 of the 10s can play 15 without looking at how many 15s you'd nominated.



  • So when you said 2 of the 10s could play 15 as well you meant Dagg? 🙂

    3 then 😉



  • Todd to get in the first test 23 instead of Ardie as a not too subtle reminder not to fuck with the brotherhood - better people make better All Blacks
     
    yes a little bit of  :fishing:  but wouldn't be hugely shocked



  • It does beg the question: are we picking a full on 1st XV/XXIII?
    Do we think they want to make a statement first up? Or will there be elements of squad development?
    Certainly will be tweaks throughout the series, but will they include any in the first game?
    There are plenty of guys in and around the fringes who will get a chance on rotation i reckon.
    Surprisingly I'm a little perplexed about where all the wingers are given Naholo and NMS aren't a hundy. In a non-Olympic year I'd have a close look at Ioane.I am dead set against moving Ben Smith.

    Me too but the rational part of my brain can see why they'd move him (as you alluded to in the line above), it just doesn't seem right tampering with something so obviously not broken - also his world cup campaign deserves a status as the incumbent



  • IMO Smith needs to move to 14 because the team is better off with him going there and having one of Barrett, Dagg or Dmac to 15. Otherwise you are looking at a long term injured Naholo, an ageing Jane or some total newby at 14.
     
    I can't see how Dmac has overtaken Barrett as second choice 15. Dmac has been in awesome form but Barrett has been bloody good too, goal kicking aside which he wouldn't be doing with Cruden in the side at 10.
    We saw it so often last year when NMS would go off, Barrett to 15 and Smith to 14. It worked well and I don't see why that wouldn't be the first option. Dmac can fill in the Barrett super sub role and Dagg will probably get a chance at some point but as far as im concerned Dmac needs to Show class at test level before leapfrogging Barrett. 
     
    Have no idea what they will do in midfield. I think Ngatai needs to be there and probably leaning towards Crotty because I think fekitoa is a bit erratic. Don't know if the selector will agree though.



  • IMO Smith needs to move to 14 because the team is better off with him going there and having one of Barrett, Dagg or Dmac to 15. Otherwise you are looking at a long term injured Naholo, an ageing Jane or some total newby at 14.
     
    I can't see how Dmac has overtaken Barrett as second choice 15. Dmac has been in awesome form but Barrett has been bloody good too, goal kicking aside which he wouldn't be doing with Cruden in the side at 10.
    We saw it so often last year when NMS would go off, Barrett to 15 and Smith to 14. It worked well and I don't see why that wouldn't be the first option. Dmac can fill in the Barrett super sub role and Dagg will probably get a chance at some point but as far as im concerned Dmac needs to Show class at test level before leapfrogging Barrett. 
     
    Have no idea what they will do in midfield. I think Ngatai needs to be there and probably leaning towards Crotty because I think fekitoa is a bit erratic. Don't know if the selector will agree though.

    Hang on, it's one thing moving Smith to wing to fill that hole and putting a 45 odd test Fullback (Dagg) in there, but why move a premier world fullback to accomodate a fucken first five eighth?
     
    Barrett carving up tired backlines is a bit different to starting a test at fullback when we've got a damn fine one already. I've no doubt the Welsh would rather see Barrett in 15 than Smith or Dagg - bombs away! 
     
    Play fluffybunnys in their positions I say and don't get too clever - I'm sure we learnt that in 1999 and 2003 and 2007...
     
    (Puku I'm only swearing for fun and drama 😉 )



  • IMO Smith needs to move to 14 because the team is better off with him going there and having one of Barrett, Dagg or Dmac to 15. Otherwise you are looking at a long term injured Naholo, an ageing Jane or some total newby at 14.
     
    I can't see how Dmac has overtaken Barrett as second choice 15. Dmac has been in awesome form but Barrett has been bloody good too, goal kicking aside which he wouldn't be doing with Cruden in the side at 10.
    We saw it so often last year when NMS would go off, Barrett to 15 and Smith to 14. It worked well and I don't see why that wouldn't be the first option. Dmac can fill in the Barrett super sub role and Dagg will probably get a chance at some point but as far as im concerned Dmac needs to Show class at test level before leapfrogging Barrett. 
     
    Have no idea what they will do in midfield. I think Ngatai needs to be there and probably leaning towards Crotty because I think fekitoa is a bit erratic. Don't know if the selector will agree though.

    Problem is Barrett's kicking from hand is just as shit as his place kicking, so I'm not sure I'd trust him at fullback for a full game. He's an interesting case, just doesn't seem to work in the starting lineup as a 10 or 15, it's like he was born to be the perfect impact sub.
     
    There's been a lot of talk about McKenzie but at this point, I wouldn't cap him. He's still super young, so I'd bring him into AB camps but let him play in the Chiefs/Wales game and even the NPC instead. Then take him on the EOYT.
     
    I'm not sure it's been mentioned but I feel like the short turnaround between Round 14 and the first test (just two weeks) will work against anyone with little or no experience in the ABs systems. So even for Ngatai, who is probably the closest to pushing his way into a starting spot from outside the squad (and I'm a big fan of), the bench might be the only way in at first.
     
    So for the first test I'm guessing:

    1. Moody
    2. Coles
    3. Franks
    4. BBBR
    5. Whitelock
    6. Kaino
    7. Cane
    8. Read
    9. A Smith
    10. Cruden
    11. Savea
    12. Crotty
    13. Fekitoa
    14. Naholo
    15. B Smith
    16. Taylor
    17. Crockett
    18. Faumuina
    19. Luatua
    20. A Savea
    21. TKB
    22. Ngatai
    23. Barrett
       
      Cruden starts the first two tests, Sopoaga starts the third and Barrett on the bench for all three.
       
      I'm not really sure about either of the wings, to be honest. I just figure since Naholo somehow managed to make the RWC squad last year and NMS is out, he'll get the nod. And while I'm still not sure about Savea's form because he was back to being anonymous against the Chiefs, I think he showed enough against the Jaguares and Rebels that Hansen will give him the benefit of the doubt.


  • It's changed a bit lately, but I still get the willies for our first test of a year so as much experience as possible is something I'd favour
     
    That team that you've written Unco looks about right - lock reserve could be a specialist lock to make way for Todd who can play 6.... I'm gonna bang that drum till it's wrong 😉 (hoping for some of MN5's internet cred that he craves come June)



  • Ah.  Ye olde AB selection thread.  Like a cup of Milo in front of an open fire on a cold day.  Without further ado (32-man squad, 18 forwards, 14 backs).

    1. Moody => 16. Crockett (also Goodes)
    2. Coles => 17. Taylor (also ?Parsons, but I'd go with Elliot)
    3. Franks => 18. Faumuina
    4. Retallick => 19. Tuipolotou
    5. Whitelock (also Barrett)
    6. Kaino (also 1 of Luatua, Dixon or Thompson)
    7. Cane => 20. Savea (also Todd)
    8. Reid (capt.)
    9. Smith => 21. Kerr-Barlow (also Weber)
    10. Cruden => 22. Barrett (also Sopoaga)
    11. Savea
    12. Crotty => 23. Ngatai
    13. Fekitoa (also Moala, but I have been impressed by Havili, who like the Baracuda covers multiple positions)
    14. Smith
    15. McKenzie (also Dagg)
       
      Unlucky: Romano, 2 of Luatua/Dixon/Thompson, Squire, TJP (since he was an AB recently), James Lowe
       
      Add in Naholo, NMS, and R. Ioane as potentials for the EOYT and the back 3 is going to be über-competitive.


  • Team I'd pick if they're all fit:

    1. Joe Moody 2 Dane Coles 3. Owen Franks 4. Brodie Retallick 5. Sam Whitelock 6. Jerome Kaino 7. Sam Cane 8. Kieron Read (c)
    2. Aaron Smith 10. Aaron Cruden 11. Julian Savea 12. Charlie Ngatai 13. Malakai Fekitoa 14. Ben Smith 15. Beauden Barrett
       
      Subs:
    3. Brendon Edmonds 17. Codie Taylor 18. Charlie Fauminia 19. Patrick Tuipolotou 20 Ardie Savea 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow 22. Damian McKenzie 23. Ryan Crotty


  • I think the make up of the back 3 will depend on Naholo getting back to form and fitness ,  
     
    First choice with everyone fit,  Savea , Smith , Naholo 
     
    Then Savea Dagg Smith 
     
    Then Savea Barrett/Dmac  Smith 
     
    My gut feeling is we will see the second option for the first test
     
    I also dont think we will actually see too many surprises early, got a feeling Shag will feel a loyalty to his world cup squad to begin with



  • Funny though, cos this conversation the last few years would be about maybe 1 or 2 players.


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