The New Old Game

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 Coles2. Codie Taylor
3. Ofa Tu’angafasi3. Nepo Laulala
4. Patrick Tuipolutu4. Sam Whitelock
5. Vaea Fifita5. Mitchell Dunshea
6. Ardie Savea6. Shannon Frizell
7. Sam Cane7. Dillion Hunt
8. Hoskins Sotutu8. Gareth Evans
9. Aaron Smith9. Brad Weber
10. Beauden Barrett10. Richie Mounga
11. Caleb Clarke11. George Bridge
12. Ngani Laumape12. Jack Goodhue
13. Anton Lienert Brown13. Brayden Ennor
14. Sevu Reece14. Jordie Barrett
15. Damian Mackenzie15. Will Jordan
16. Asafo Aumua16. Liam Coltman
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (Ross/Fraser Armstrong)17. Daniel Lienert Brown
18. Alex Fidow18. Tyrel Lomax
19. Mitchell Brown19. Josh Dickson
20. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u20. Tom Christie
21. TJ Perenara21. Mitchell Drummond
22. Otere Black22. Josh Ioane (Mitchell Hunt)
23. Rieko Ioane23. 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.

One comment

  1. I’m locking in the following teams:

    North – Aiden Ross, Dane Coles, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Patrick Tuipolotu, Josh Goodhue, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Hoskins Sotutu, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Ngani Laumape, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sevu Reece, Damian McKenzie

    Res. – Asofa Aumua, Fraser Armstrong, Michael Alaalatoa, James Blackwell, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, TJ Perenara, Otere Black, Reiko Ioane

    South – Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Pari Pari Parkinson, Cullen Grace, Dillon Hunt, Shannon Frizell, Brad Weber, Richie Mo’unga, George Bridge, Jack Goodhue, Braydon Ennor, Will Jordan, Jordie Barrett

    Res. – Liam Coltman, Alex Hodgman, Tyrel Lomax, Mitchell Dunshea, Gareth Evans, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, David Havili

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