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  Reply # 1376546 30-Aug-2015 18:55
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blair003: Exciting. Unluckiest person for me is Charles Piutau.


He wasn't picked because he announced he was going overseas, and AB's selectors have said they will prioritize loyal players. His management is to blame for absolute stupidity. He had to show he was clearly better than any alternative and that hasn't happened.

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  Reply # 1376547 30-Aug-2015 19:00
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I agree, I probably would prefer Piutau over Naholo. He's not available until the 3rd pool match which means he won't have played any significant rugby for several months. Not only that but he hasn't exactly proved himself at an international level as of yet. I'd understand the call if it was for someone like Coles or Nonu etc. A pretty big risk to take imo. Glad to see NMS got the nod though!




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  Reply # 1376563 30-Aug-2015 19:20
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Tkb naholo fekitoa imo shouldnt be there jane is a massive shock to me.We dont have any experienced back three that have proven themselves at a world cup



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  Reply # 1376567 30-Aug-2015 19:25
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ludez: Tkb naholo fekitoa imo shouldnt be there jane is a massive shock to me.We dont have any experienced back three that have proven themselves at a world cup


Agree on this. We are exposed aerially this squad. I haven't seen that much of NMS under the high ball but Dagg and Jane still have that over almost any other.

Bottom line is that Hansen has picked winning teams for 4 years and we have done great.

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  Reply # 1376569 30-Aug-2015 19:43
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networkn:
ludez: Tkb naholo fekitoa imo shouldnt be there jane is a massive shock to me.We dont have any experienced back three that have proven themselves at a world cup


Agree on this. We are exposed aerially this squad. I haven't seen that much of NMS under the high ball but Dagg and Jane still have that over almost any other.

Bottom line is that Hansen has picked winning teams for 4 years and we have done great.


We can only see how it goes i guess.Who do they call up if naholo doesnt recover properly? And what happens if that replacement says no thanks you didnt pick me first so shove it

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  Reply # 1376571 30-Aug-2015 19:48
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They would pick Piutau. If they managed their players properly (and they do) then any of them will jump at the opportunity if they get a call up.

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  Reply # 1376572 30-Aug-2015 19:50
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blair003: They would pick Piutau. If they managed their players properly (and they do) then any of them will jump at the opportunity if they get a call up.


So shocked for cory.He has invaluable skills and experience

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  Reply # 1376580 30-Aug-2015 19:56
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I agree Jane has valuable skills and experience. But he hadn't showed much on the pitch this year compared to others, including Piutau. He was unlucky to pickup a couple of separate injuries when he needed to be staking his claim.

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  Reply # 1376583 30-Aug-2015 20:00
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blair003: I agree Jane has valuable skills and experience. But he hadn't showed much on the pitch this year compared to others, including Piutau. He was unlucky to pickup a couple of separate injuries when he needed to be staking his claim.


Sure thats true but they just picked a guy who is actually injured right now and has not healed his leg properly.

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  Reply # 1376584 30-Aug-2015 20:01
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They did. It's very exciting.

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  Reply # 1376585 30-Aug-2015 20:03
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blair003: They did. It's very exciting.

Im more concerned then excited about our backs.If nonu and smith fall whos our back up sbw and fekitoa not really consistent players.
Savea isnt in the best form NMS is amazing and can get the job done.Ben smith is solid under high ball and so is NMS.
Tawera kerr barlow isnt proven after breaking his leg.They bought him to make tj better hansen said.
Congrats to the players though

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  Reply # 1376586 30-Aug-2015 20:08
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On paper, whoever they pick is still a stronger team than anyone. THey don't need to pick the most entertaining and the most exciting and the most skilled. Those never win us the world cup, but have always lost it for us in moments of madness.

They need the most boring the most underrated the most hard working players with their heads screwed on properly to grind out those 1 point wins. Assuming the goalkicker does his bit. I don't mind them winning by 2 tries, but they couldn't do that at Eden Park against the Underdog of underdogs last time round.

It will be fun once the pool of death is decided. Before that ... *yawn to everyone other than the pool of death

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  Reply # 1376621 30-Aug-2015 21:19
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My biggest surprise is Kerr-Barlow.

I honestly thought they would go with two halfbacks because TKB is so far behind the top two halfbacks he wasn't worth taking.

The forwards picked themselves - the fact they would only take three locks was broadcast some time ago.

Unlucky for Sopoaga but they picked the back up first fives because of versatility.  I expect Sopoaga will play a big part in AB rugby from 2016 onwards.

Personally I would have left SBW behind.  The options to take his place aren't great but I think Crotty is the future 'thinking' man of the midfield and will play a decent role from next year.

As for the back three - Piutau is the unlucky one with Naholo being given the opportunity.

I agree that neither Jane nor Dagg did enough this year to warrant selection (and therefore leaving out one of those players named).

All in all a solid squad with some versatility - most of it predictable.

Go the AB's.....



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  Reply # 1376628 30-Aug-2015 21:34
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tukapa1: My biggest surprise is Kerr-Barlow.

I honestly thought they would go with two halfbacks because TKB is so far behind the top two halfbacks he wasn't worth taking.

The forwards picked themselves - the fact they would only take three locks was broadcast some time ago.

Unlucky for Sopoaga but they picked the back up first fives because of versatility.  I expect Sopoaga will play a big part in AB rugby from 2016 onwards.

Personally I would have left SBW behind.  The options to take his place aren't great but I think Crotty is the future 'thinking' man of the midfield and will play a decent role from next year.

As for the back three - Piutau is the unlucky one with Naholo being given the opportunity.

I agree that neither Jane nor Dagg did enough this year to warrant selection (and therefore leaving out one of those players named).

All in all a solid squad with some versatility - most of it predictable.

Go the AB's.....


I agree with almost everything you've said. I almost can't TKB more than WN! I'd have taken Ellis before TKB. They say he has something special on defense, but I haven't seen it (or noticed it, to be more accurate). 

I 100% agree Crotty is the new thinking man. I'd really like to see him groomed for Conrads replacement, but unfortunately I think that boat has sailed, otherwise he would be on the plane. Fekitoa just doesn't do that much for me. 

Prepared to give the benefit of the doubt at the end of the day. I expect we will likely see some additional arrivals in the UK within 10 days of the start of the tournament. I'll be a little annoyed if WN doesn't turn out to be amazing.

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  Reply # 1376723 30-Aug-2015 22:52
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It's an interesting squad with a few guys who will feel lucky but nit too many who should feel hard done by.

Faumauina and Kerr-Barlow got picked because they are impact players off the bench and Naholo got picked because he gives them the option to play two big wings, or to drop Savea if his form doesn't improve.

Barrett and Messam were both very fortunate to make the side and have managed to do so on reputation IMO. The two players who miss out who have played really good rugby in the Black jersey this year are Sopoaga and Piutau. To suggest that Piutau hasn't been picked because he's going overseas is a bit silly, he hasn't been picked because they very clearly wanted another big wing, and Milner-Skudder showed something a bit special and very different.

The other thing to bear in mind is that in the case of an injury a player who is fresh into the squad, but a specialist (eg Dagg or Sopoaga) is very likely to start over someone who is a utility player or an impact bench guy. The reality of modern rugby means they've picked about 20 players who could start and about 11 who can come off the bench and provide impact or cover multiple positions.

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