Pasty Backline



  • 'Pasty' for want of a better word, and only because it struck me recently that there is a really exciting crop of backs of NZ European heritage in Super Rugby at the moment, or at least was, this season. More often than not in recent years it's been difficult to think up a backline of this ilk which could mix it up with a NZ Maori backline, or a NZ Pacific Islander backline, should such a thing ever exist. I hope no-one thinks the worst of this selection/topic, because it's intended purely as a theoretical exercise, no different to trying to dream up a backline whose names all begin with D, or something like that.
     
    15 D McKenzie
    14 Smith
    11 McNicholl
    13 Faddes
    12 Crotty
    10 Barrett
    9   Weber
     
    Others floating around include Drummond, James Marshall, Marty McKenzie Horrell, Parker, Duffie, Buckman, Donald and Banks.
     
    I stand to be corrected if any of these guys posess Maori or Pacific Island heritage. And also, who have I missed?



  • The McKenzies are Maori as



  • Cruden (but even he is Maori eligible I think)
     
    Getting pretty hard to meet a full euro only definition these days.



  • The McKenzies are Maori as

    I wondered about them. M McKenzie wouldn't be missed from a match day 10, but D McKenzie was a real game-changer if eligible.



  • Cruden (but even he is Maori eligible I think)
     
    Getting pretty hard to meet a full euro only definition these days.

    Cruden has a Maori middle name.



  • Cruden (but even he is Maori eligible I think)
    Getting pretty hard to meet a full euro only definition these days.
    Yeah. If you do a full euro, a full PI or Maori, and a mixed team, the full teams would have very few people to select from. Well the full Maori team would have nobody.



  • Why would you bother? Unless I'm embarrassed because they're clearly a poach I genuinely don't care and don't notice a players ethnicity.
     
    I probably would if a Singh or a Lee made the AB's



  • The McKenzies are Maori as

    Weber was in the Maori squad last year too.



  • When was the last time NZ Rugby actually produced a hard running, tackle busting white guy in the backline ?
     
    No shit, last one I can think of is Scott "Stormy" McLeod. Other countries produce these guys in abundance......



  • Scott Hamilton?



  • Scott Hamilton?

    Maybe just but my point still stands, as I said other countries who don't have the Maori and PI population make do with white guys doing this some of whom are excellent at it but NZ Rugby virtually always has a "browner" guy to do it.
     
    Case in point sharks backline being seriously short on physical presence overall.



  • its funny, i used to always write my "samoan" team whenever i finished my exams early..
     
    15. Nanai/Toeava
    14. Leiua
    13. Nonu
    12. SBW
    11. J. Savea
    10. Sopoaga
    9. Pulu
     
    Funnily enough, Leiua is the only player I really rate in the Samoan team, and hes always injured.



  • Is it possible to select such a team anymore? I've gotten to the point when someone says player x is eligible to play for the Maori I think the same things when meeting a blond haired blue eyed Aboriginal:



  • Crotty's a bit swarthy.



  • Scott Hamilton?

    Craig Innes (going back a bit) Keith Lowen.. Regan King (I think he was probably 1/16th or something...). It is odd that we don't produce more Jamie Roberts / George Norths tho'



  • What about a "Whitest Maoris" backline?
     
    Paul Tito hanging around on the wing, Cullen probably at centre by the time they found out his whakapapa. Tony Brown.



  • Maybe just but my point still stands, as I said other countries who don't have the Maori and PI population make do with white guys doing this some of whom are excellent at it but NZ Rugby virtually always has a "browner" guy to do it.
     
    Case in point sharks backline being seriously short on physical presence overall.

    Mark Robinson (the centre not the scrumhalf) when he wasn't injured? He was a bit of a unit.
     
    Other than that, I got nothing.



  • When was the last time NZ Rugby actually produced a hard running, tackle busting white guy in the backline ?
     
    No shit, last one I can think of is Scott "Stormy" McLeod. Other countries produce these guys in abundance......

    Because they've got no black guys to compete for places! 😉



  • Craig Innes (going back a bit) Keith Lowen.. Regan King (I think he was probably 1/16th or something...). It is odd that we don't produce more Jamie Roberts / George Norths tho'
    Lowen is Rarotongan.
    King is Maori (I believe).
    Craig Innes is a good example.
    But in general I don't think we have a lot of big white hard running backs because they are earmarked as flankers early on. Whereas in countries like South Africa and England they are considered too small to play in the forwards so get shunted into the midfield.
    A guy like Andre Snyman would have been a 7 in NZ.



  • Back in the day John Gallagher. Ok he was English. But those old clips with short shorts (stubbies basically) and that white skin that required sunglasses it was so bright and reflective.



  • When was the last time NZ Rugby actually produced a hard running, tackle busting white guy in the backline ?

    Dane Coles.....



  • Thought Horrel is Maori? Thompson?



  • Matt Cooper was a very solid crash ball runner for us too. If you were looking for the AB Stirling Mortlock / Jamie Roberts he's actually pretty close



  • My father would say that Ian MacRae, all 86 kg of him, was the original!



  • When was the last time NZ Rugby actually produced a hard running, tackle busting white guy in the backline ? No shit, last one I can think of is Scott "Stormy" McLeod. Other countries produce these guys in abundance......im going to expand on your point and probably make it more confusing ,If you walk around the streets of NZ , the biggest blokes tend to be on average , dark skinned blokes,If you look at rugby players, the biggest blokes tend to be tight forwards ,yet we tend to produce more White tight forwards



  • Lowen is Rarotongan.
    King is Maori (I believe).
    Craig Innes is a good example.But in general I don't think we have a lot of big white hard running backs because they are earmarked as flankers early on. Whereas in countries like South Africa and England they are considered too small to play in the forwards so get shunted into the midfield.
    A guy like Andre Snyman would have been a 7 in NZ.

    I was going to make that point. Im sure there are plenty of white Kiwi flankers around who would look pretty good in some of those NH backlines where these "big white backs" seem to be. Equally guys like Roberts and Mortlock probably wouldn't look out of place on the side of the scrum.



  • But in general I don't think we have a lot of big white hard running backs because they are earmarked as flankers early on. Whereas in countries like South Africa and England they are considered too small to play in the forwards so get shunted into the midfield.

    Crazy to think how many players futures are probably set in stone at a young age by an amateur coach. For a lot of guys it's fairly obvious what their future will be (e.g. lanky guy = lock) but there must be plenty of guys who would've been in a completely different position had they grown up in a different system.



  • Was Mortlock really very big?



  • About 6'2



  • I probably would if a Singh or a Lee made the AB's

    Danny Lee managed to play two tests without him standing out too much!
    It would be nice to get we could get a more diverse team soon. League is well ahead of us on that. They had Matt Sing playing two decades ago!



  • Danny Lee managed to play two tests without him standing out too much!
    It would be nice to get we could get a more diverse team soon. League is well ahead of us on that. They had Matt Sing playing two decades ago!

    Meh, we had Ranji Wilson in the teens (the 1910s and I think he was West Indian). Also, I'm pretty sure we've had a couple of Samoan players with Asian heritage. Also, Sing is Aboriginal isn't he?

    Craig Innes (going back a bit) Keith Lowen.. Regan King (I think he was probably 1/16th or something...). It is odd that we don't produce more Jamie Roberts / George Norths tho'

    Seriously, how do you come up with these ideas? 1/16th Maori would mean he'd have to only have one of his great great grandparents be Maori. He's probably got two Maori grandparents.

    Same with Keith Lowen - he's obviously of Polynesian heritage.



  • Seriously, how do you come up with these ideas? 1/16th Maori would mean he'd have to only have one of his great great grandparents be Maori. He's probably got two Maori grandparents.

    But how Maori? If his paternal grandad is 3/4th & his maternal grandad is 4/6th that means hes 11/73rds.
     
    I think. My excel doesn't do th's's. And what if he's got a 1/8th Cook Islands in there somewhere. Its a minefield I tells you.



  • When was the last time NZ Rugby actually produced a hard running, tackle busting white guy in the backline ?
     
    No shit, last one I can think of is Scott "Stormy" McLeod. Other countries produce these guys in abundance......

    There is a bit of difference between a guy like George North and a Julian Savea though.  No question that North is big and strong but Savea is far more explosive.  I know South Africa struggles to produce the type of big backs that can bust tackles the Nadolo and Savea does.
     
    As for your original question, wouldn't Kirwan fit the bill?



  • So then the question becomes which NZ flankers could have been good English centres?



  • So then the question becomes which NZ flankers could have been good English centres?

    Ardie Savea? :whistle:



  • When was the last time NZ Rugby actually produced a hard running, tackle busting white guy in the backline ?

    Some guy called Kirwan?



  • So then the question becomes which NZ flankers could have been good English centres?

    "good English centres?"
    Are you allowed to ask a question centred around an oxymoron?



  • Ardie Savea? :whistle:

    He's at least 1/16th...

    "good English centres?"
    Are you allowed to ask a question centred around an oxymoron?

    Manu Tuilagi would have made a cracking hooker had he been raised in NZ. Like a tubby Mealamu



  • "Manu Tuilagi would have made a cracking hooker"
    That is wrong on so many levels and no doubt expensive as well.



  • So then the question becomes which NZ flankers could have been good English centres?

    I can think of heaps. Sam and Tom Harding come to mind. Maybe Matt Todd. Razor Robertson may have been too big but would have been a pretty robust midfielder nonetheless. Someone like Callum Gibbins from Manawatu is a nugget.
    Heaps of raw boned white guys out there.


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