Friday, May 17, 2019

Rugby World Cup - Helping Shag with his squad.

This will be the first of six or seven posts as I work through the team positions.

Readers should be aware that what follows in this and other posts are solely my thoughts and observations and I have no inside information whatsoever. It is also pertinent that I do not watch any Super Rugby before the 1 April as until then it is the season for summer sports in New Zealand.

Lets look at the back 3 for starters and from what I understand they will take five players to cover fullback and wing. Injuries to Damien Mackenzie and Ben Smith complicate things a little but I think we can still pretty much ink in the 5 who will go unless Smiths injury turns out to be more serious than they are presently saying.

Ben Smith and Jordie Barrett and in the lead up tests.

I would not be surprised to see Beauden Barrett start a test there, especially if Richie Mo'unga continues his outstanding form at first five. If Smith doesn't recover from his injury David Havili should be next in line.

Reiko Ioane, Waisake Naholo and George Bridge.

There are of course a number of others putting their hands up and being touted in the press. Among them are Sevu Reece and Brayton Ennor from the Crusaders, Ben Lamb from the Hurricanes and as a long shot Sean Wainui from the Chiefs - he has a high work rate, is reliable under the high ball and has been in the NZ Maori set up for the last few years. Bear in mind that both Ben Smith and Jordie Barrett can cover wing as well and George Bridge is a very capable fullback.


gravedodger said...

Not much argument here pdm except for Naholo, I believe he has been overtaken by the four outsiders you offer with Reece in the lead of that bunch.
Jordie Barratt can display an odd flake brain fade but in the grand scheme his ability to kick long range penalties has him, on balance included.

pdm said...

GD - I think experience will enable Naholo to keep his place. He will need to be back to 100% fitness and showing some form over the next few weeks of Super Rugby though.