2020 it’s been a hell of year. The outlook on world sport has changed has it looking at New Zealand with live sport back with crowds. The NBL signed a historic agreed with ESPN to show all 56 games live. Rugby got back underway at professional and club level and then rugby did an odd and funny thing. It went back in time by announcing that there will be a North vs South game! Now this hasn’t been seen on the calendar since 1995 well there was a game in 2012 but when Robbie Robinson was playing for the North it wasn’t done right.
So being the throwback he is Ian “Fozzie” Foster new Head Coach of the All Blacks has come out and stated that players will be picked by the province they played their first professional game of rugby. Well what does this mean in terms of picks? Well to highlight a few Codie vs Dane (even though they grew up a few years and about 50k apart), Beauden vs Jordie (they grew even closer than Codie and Dane did), Anton and Daniel the Leinert Brown’s might be going against each other.
So with that here are my picks for the teams to play at an undisclosed location. Rumour has it that Smiley Barrett has offered the use of the same paddock that Kane, Beauden and Scott use to use when they played footy and ganged up on Jordie. I have picked on form and some reputation mainly who I think would make the All Blacks squad.
|1. Angus Ta’avao (Aiden Ross)||1. Joe Moody|
|2. Dane Coles||2. Codie Taylor|
|3. Ofa Tu’angafasi||3. Nepo Laulala|
|4. Patrick Tuipolutu||4. Sam Whitelock|
|5. Vaea Fifita||5. Mitchell Dunshea|
|6. Ardie Savea||6. Shannon Frizell|
|7. Sam Cane||7. Dillion Hunt|
|8. Hoskins Sotutu||8. Gareth Evans|
|9. Aaron Smith||9. Brad Weber|
|10. Beauden Barrett||10. Richie Mounga|
|11. Caleb Clarke||11. George Bridge|
|12. Ngani Laumape||12. Jack Goodhue|
|13. Anton Lienert Brown||13. Brayden Ennor|
|14. Sevu Reece||14. Jordie Barrett|
|15. Damian Mackenzie||15. Will Jordan|
|16. Asafo Aumua||16. Liam Coltman|
|17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (Ross/Fraser Armstrong)||17. Daniel Lienert Brown|
|18. Alex Fidow||18. Tyrel Lomax|
|19. Mitchell Brown||19. Josh Dickson|
|20. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u||20. Tom Christie|
|21. TJ Perenara||21. Mitchell Drummond|
|22. Otere Black||22. Josh Ioane (Mitchell Hunt)|
|23. Rieko Ioane||23. David Havilli|
Now you notice a few names that are missing and some names that have been missing from Super Rugby Aotearoa but are on there. The good word is that Angus Ta’avo, Karl Tu’inukuafe and Josh Ioane are not too far away from having a run. While Tom Robinson, Luke Jacobson, Scott Barrett, Atu Moli, Andrew Makalio, Nathan Harris and James Lentjes are not considered due to injury. Brodie Retallick and Aaron Cruden are not considered due to unknown All Black status for the year. While Dan Carter as great as he is, just isn’t the future.
Coaches haven’t yet been announced so wondering if Fozzie will tell the All Blacks coaching staff to split up with Plum and Stormy taking the North and Brad Mooar and Feek taking the south. Or have the old 1st 5/8 Fozzie got something up the sleeve and will Aaron Mauger and Scott Robertson head up the South coaching staff and Gats and Leon MacDonald lead the North. One crazy step further….and hell why not…. The two most recent ex All Black coaches Ted and Shag. Both men tied to the North and South respectively.
Not matter what happens August 29th will be one for the books and I for one are looking forward to it but also wondering why there isn’t another game.
The Black Ferns the current World Champions heck 5x World Champions were meant to being playing in 8 yes that was right 8 tests this year. Well even then 3 tests had been announced with a test against the USA and then back to back games against the Wallaroos the Australian side for the O’Reilly Cup, but the other 5 test including opposition, venues, locations all still to be announced and now probably will never be announced. The reason I am bringing that up is for one reason if that was the All Blacks they would never have 5 tests announced but not announced by the NZRU. It seems like the women take a step forward and then a step back.
All those tests were in build up to the World Cup happening next year in 2021 in New Zealand. Now I know Alice Soper has been vocal about the Farah Palmer Cup the FPC and rightly too. But NZRU I know times have been tough but our women, our wahine they need the tough challenge of playing the best of the best. Could the NZRU roll out the Probables vs Possibles format for the Black Fern women. I know that they have a contracted squad of 31 throw in some of the 7s ladies plus some fringe players and boom you would have two teams to be able to play. Not only would this give the Black Fern world cup squad hopefuls some really good hit outs, coaches could try a couple of different combinations out. Plus it’s more live sport when the country needs it but it’s more live women’s sport which more of is needed.
Next stop Women Super Rugby teams but that can wait to the next article where we might roll up the idea of combination our sporting franchises.