Rugby Union 2 years ago

Possible All Blacks Squad vs Samoa? An Ironic Situation?

  • Possible All Blacks Squad vs Samoa? An Ironic Situation?

It will be interesting to see which All Blacks make the squad to play Samoa in Apia next week since the squad will not feature any Hurricanes or Highlanders players, leaving some positions scratching around the other Super Rugby franchises for players.  The ironic twist with this scenario is that this match is about helping the Pacific Islands, but players like Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu'ungafasi and George Moala may play this test for the All Blacks vs Samoa, but they may join the largely infamous list of players including Mark Ranby, the late Norm Berryman and Graham Dowd to only play one test match for the All Blacks.  The problem is then that this might well rule them out of playing for Samoa or Tonga in the future, which would go against the entire reason for this test match in the first place.  

 

There are some positions which are well served by Blues, Crusaders and Chiefs players like prop, but other positions will require new faces who may be surplus to requirements when the Rugby World Cup is on.  For example, the halfbacks for this game will probably be veteran Andy Ellis and Chiefs youngster Brad Weber, but with Tawera Kerr-Barlow returning from injury, while TJ Perenara and Aaron Smith are the Numbers 1 and 2, then both Ellis and Weber may not play any future tests.  

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It is the same with the midfield, with Ryan Crotty and SBW having the inside running, while George Moala may debut there or on the wing.  But with Nonu, Smith and Fekitoa ahead of these guys in the pecking order, it could be a challenge for Moala to add to his one test cap.

 

There is also a shortage of outside backs available with selectors not having the services of Ben Smith, Julian Savea, Cory Jane and new boys like Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo.  Selectors must be due to name some more outside backs in their squad with the likes of James Lowe, Tevita Li, Damian McKenzie, Frank Halai and Tom Marshall the next cabs off the rank.

 

Here is my Potential All Blacks Squad to Play Samoa, although it is hard to know how many Chiefs will be rested and how many players will instead play for the New Zealand Maori side.

 

For the record, you can't blame the All Blacks selectors for wanting to see how young players handle the step up to international rugby in this game, but it is an unfortunate situation having players turn their back on international rugby for a Pacific Nation, for one test with the All Blacks.  These young players could be needed following the exodus after Rugby World Cup 2015.

 

Who would be in your All Blacks squad to play Manu Samoa given that the Hurricanes and Highlanders players are unavailable and that some senior and tired players might be rested for this game?

 

Does anyone else find this situation a tad ironic?

 

Possible All Blacks Squad to play Manu Samoa

 

15. Israel Dagg

14. Charles Piutau

13. Ryan Crotty

12. Sonny Bill Williams

11. James Lowe

10. Dan Carter

9. Andy Ellis

8. Kieran Read

7. Matt Todd

6. Jerome Kaino

5. Sam Whitelock

4. Brodie Retallick

3. Owen Franks

2. Keven Mealamu

1. Tony Woodcock

 

Reserves

16. Hika Elliot

17. Wyatt Crockett

18. Nepo Laulala

19. Luke Romano

20. Richie McCaw

21. Brad Weber

22. Colin Slade

23. George Moala

 

               

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