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NZ Rugby World

NZ Rugby World February - March 2021

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New Zealand Rugby World is the premier authority on our national game; with sharp analysis and irreverent humour the two key components. In both style and content the writing is award winning and provides an unparalleled depth of insight into the people who play the game and the issues that matter to the fans. The cast of contributors is world class as is the photography and lay-out. Pick this magazine up and you won't want to put it down - rugby has never been so much fun.

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New Zealand
Dark Horse Collective Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
editor’s letter

A MOMENT OF HONESTY FIRST. This time last year there was virtually no sense of excitement or anticipation about Super Rugby kicking off. The competition was broken and we all knew it. The greedy expansion policies that began in 2006 ruined what was once the best provincial competition in the world. Once the Jaguares and Sunwolves were involved, the whole business became ridiculous. All that travel for one game in Argentina and one game in Tokyo. It was as mad as it was environmentally irresponsible and laughable that anyone in the administration could say they cared about player welfare. In those early pre-lockdown rounds last year, crowds had all but disappeared. Remember the Blues match against the Waratahs in Newcastle? There were barely 4,000 people there and again, to be honest, Covid…

2 min.

TRANSFER MARKET 2021 BLUES SQUAD Hookers: Ray Niuia, James Parsons, Soane Vikena Props: Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, James Lay, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi Locks: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Sam Darry, Josh Goodhue, Jacob Pierce (North Harbour),Patrick Tuipulotu Loose forwards: Blake Gibson, Dillon Hunt, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Taine Plumtree, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu Halfbacks: Finlay Christie, Sam Nock, Jonathan Ruru Inside backs: Otere Black, Stephen Perofeta, Harry Plummer Midfield: TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane, Tanielu Tele’a Outside backs: Caleb Clarke, AJ Lam, Jone Macilai-Tori, Emoni Narawa, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, Zarn Sullivan, Mark Telea RECRUITMENT BALANCE It’s a little bit weird that they have strengthened themselves in an area where they were already strong – prop. Still, the arrival of Nepo Laulala gives the Blues front-row depth and the opportunity to use their scrum as a weapon. The other key arrivals in that regard are…

2 min.

TRANSFER MARKET 2021 CHIEFS SQUAD Hookers: Nathan Harris, Bradley Slater, Samisoni Taukei’aho Props: Sione Mafileo, Atunaisa Moli, Ollie Norris, Reuben O’Neill, Aidan Ross, Angus Ta’avao Locks: Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Josh Lord, Laghlan McWhannell, Tupou Vaa’i Loose Forwards: Kaylum Boshier, Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Sam Cane, Pita Gus Sowakula, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Karpik, Simon Parker Halfbacks: Xavier Roe, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Brad Weber First five-eighths: Bryn Gatland, Rivez Reihana, Kaleb Trask Midfielders: Anton Lienert-Brown, Alex Nankivell, Bailyn Sullivan, Quinn Tupaea Outside backs: Jonah Lowe, Damian McKenzie, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Shaun Stevenson, Chase Tiatia, Sean Wainui OUR PREDICTION 5TH RECRUITMENT BALANCE The Chiefs will say they have done well and picked up a couple of promising first-fives and recruited the younger Boshier brother Kaylum. But overall it’s a poor return as they have lost three key forwards – Tyler Ardron, Michael Allardice and Nepo Laulala as…

2 min.

TRANSFER MARKET 2021 CRUSADERS SQUAD Props: Joe Moody, Ollie Jager, Isi Tuungafasi, George Bower, Michael Alaalatoa, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell Hookers: Codie Taylor, Brodie McAlister, Andrew Makalio, Locks: Scott Barrett, Quentin Strange, Mitchell Dunshea, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano Loose forwards: Cullen Grace, Tom Sanders, Ethan Blackadder, Sione Havili, Whetu Douglas, Tom Christie Halfbacks: Mitch Drummond, Ere Enari, Bryn Hall, First fives: Richie Mo’unga, Brett Cameron Midfield: Jack Goodhue, Fergus Burke, Braydon Ennor, Dallas McLeod, Outside backs: Chay Fihaki, George Bridge, Manasa Mataele, Sevu Reece, David Havili, Will Jordan, Leicester Faingaanuku, Isaiah Punivai OUR PREDICTION CHAMPIONS RECRUITMENT BALANCE There has been relatively little movement from the champions in the off season. No big names coming or going and the Crusaders look much the same as they did last year. The movement has been on the fringes of the squad and is unlikely to make…

2 min.

RECRUITMENT BALANCE The loss of Dillon Hunt would have hurt them but for the fact they have picked up Billy Harmon. But the big steal of course is that they have Liam Squire back and that could be a game changer for them. He might be the man to inspire and lift those around him as there is no doubt that the pack has a bit of steel and mongrel about it. Kazuki Himeno at No 8 is another great buy as he has a vast skill-set and the Highlanders could work some clever moves off the back of their scrum. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TACTICALLY? It will be high work rate rugby with a touch of magic thrown in. The forwards will get off the line and defend and try to counter ruck.…

2 min.

OUR PREDICTION 3RD RECRUITMENT BALANCE They have come out just about where they would want to. The loss of TJ Perenara, Ben Lam and Kobus van Wyk will hurt them, but the arrival of Julian Savea offsets some of that as does the fact Ardie is long recovered from his knee surgery and likely to be in top form from the first game. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TACTICALLY? The way they played to beat the Crusaders in Christchurch is probably the way they want to play all the time but can’t find the intensity they need to do so. But as a rule they are going to want the ball to be moving and in the hands of Ngani Laumape, Peter Umaga-Jensen and Jordie Barrett. They have damaging runners with power and a pack that can…