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Three new faces in All Blacks squad, but no room for Ben Lam

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    There’s a trio of new players potentially set to be called up for national duty in the 33-man All Blacks squad named by Steve Hansen.

    The All Blacks will take on France in three Tests during the June international window.

    Jordan Taufua, Shannon Frizell and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi could all potentially make their debut at international level for New Zealand after being named.

    Ben Lam however has missed out on a spot, as has Akira Ioane.

    “It was a really tough squad to select, more so because there are some very talented players who have missed out, but I’m sure they will get their opportunity in the black jersey in the near future,” said Hansen.

    Sam Whitelock has been named as captain for the three-match series, after Kieran Read recently confirmed he’ll be no chance to return in time.

    “He’s one half of the best locking combination in the world and one of the best players on and off the park. He has a cool head under pressure and the support of the players and management,” said Hansen.

    “In saying that, we’re blessed with a number of other leaders in our group and the expectations are that they’ll continue to lead both on and off the park in their actions, and in doing so make Sam’s job that little bit easier.”

    Although the All Blacks will certainly enter as favourites, Hansen said the French are always a dangerous opponent.

    “Whilst they’re at the end of their season, many of their players haven’t played a lot of rugby through injury, so they’ll be a lot fresher than they’d normally be, for this campaign.

    “Our preparation will need to be both smart and bone-deep if we’re to combat this French team, who’ll come with a strong belief and commitment.

    “As history tells us, we’d be very foolish and naïve to underestimate their abilities.”


    Nathan Harris (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 11)
    Codie Taylor (27, Crusaders / Canterbury, 29)

    Owen Franks (30, Crusaders / Canterbury, 95)
    Joe Moody (29, Crusaders /Canterbury, 31)
    Tim Perry (29, Crusaders / Tasman, uncapped)
    Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (27, Hurricanes / Wellington, 1)
    Ofa Tuungafasi (26, Blues / Auckland, 14)

    Scott Barrett (24, Crusaders / Taranaki, 16)
    Brodie Retallick (26, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 68)
    Samuel Whitelock (29, Crusaders / Canterbury, 96) – Captain

    Loose Forwards
    Sam Cane (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 53) – Vice-captain
    Vaea Fifita (25, Hurricanes / Wellington, 5)
    Shannon Frizell (24, Highlanders / Tasman, uncapped)
    Ardie Savea (24, Hurricanes / Wellington, 22)
    Liam Squire (27, Highlanders / Tasman, 15)
    Jordan Taufua (26, Crusaders / Tasman, uncapped)
    Luke Whitelock (27, Highlanders / Canterbury, 2)


    TJ Perenara (26, Hurricanes / Wellington, 42)
    Aaron Smith (29, Highlanders / Manawatu, 71)
    Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (23, Chiefs / Taranaki, uncapped)

    First five-eighths
    Beauden Barrett (27, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 62)
    Damian McKenzie (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 12)
    Richie Mo’unga (24, Crusaders / Canterbury, uncapped)

    Ryan Crotty (29, Crusaders / Canterbury, 32)
    Jack Goodhue (22, Crusaders / Northland, uncapped)
    Ngani Laumape (25, Hurricanes / Manawatu, 4)
    Anton Lienert-Brown (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 22)
    Sonny Bill Williams (32, Blues / Counties Manukau, 46)

    Outside backs
    Jordie Barrett (21, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 2)
    Rieko Ioane (21, Blues / Auckland, 13)
    Nehe Milner-Skudder (27, Hurricanes / Manawatu, 11)
    Waisake Naholo (27, Highlanders /Taranaki, 18)
    Ben Smith (30, Highlanders /Otago, 64) – Vice-captain

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (87)

    • May 20th 2018 @ 11:04am
      Fionn said | May 20th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

      Insane that they can leave Lam out and yet you can look at the squad and not be able to tell the selectors they were wrong. I assume Naholo is their as the incumbent as opposed to him showing he’s a better player than Lam?

      They’re showing a lot of faith in Milner-Skudder, which is nice to see.

      Do we think Julian Savea’s career as an All Black winger is permanently done now?

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2018 @ 11:39am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 20th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Great looking squad and I think they got it right all over the board.

        NMS looks “light” in a very good way. Seems like he has lost no speed or acceleration.

        Savea could at best hope to get a shot as an injury replacement.

        I predict a pretty tough series. With not back row and midfield, combo nailed the AB’s have a lot of work to do. And the depth in the front row and the second row is a little bit thin.

        Interesting that Shag said if Shield had stayed in NZ he would have been selected.

        • May 20th 2018 @ 11:46am
          Fionn said | May 20th 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          Easy for Shag to say now that he isn’t. That still doesn’t mean he would get into the 23 – and Shields has been in and around the squad beforehand.

          I don’t think it will be a particularly tight series. I think the All Blacks will be better this year than last year if I am honest. A lot of the less experienced guys they blooded last year will be better for the experience last year.

          I do think that they will try and sort out a midfield combination, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Goodhue ends up at outside centre.

          • Roar Guru

            May 20th 2018 @ 12:04pm
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 20th 2018 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

            I am leaning more and more towards a Goodhue selection also. And props to you Fionn, you sang his praise long before anyone else here at the Roar.

            • May 20th 2018 @ 2:54pm
              cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

              I think Crotty said JG will play 100 tests for NZ.

              maybe overkill but just shows how well regarded he is.

          • May 20th 2018 @ 2:53pm
            cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

            @ Fionn

            It was after Shields had decided to go that NZ told him of the intention to select him. Maybe not being selected to the squads in the last 2 years and the approach from Eddie made him jump.

            Shields has a good case to go – most of the guys from the 2011 under 20 team are already playing tests , and for some time. those who are not playing tests are hardly heard of.

            I mean someone like Farrell was on his opposite side in the final !!!

            As for NMS – i think he is there becoz Dagg is out. They need guys who are 15 competent and NMS played 15 in Miter 10.

            The surprise is Shannon Frizell – he impressed for Tasman but has played only a few super rugger matches , he started only after a few injuries . Perhaps Crusaders may have lost out on a good one ….

            Akira Ioane is in the training squad.

            Ben lam dropped the ball and may have been dropped on that 😀

            • May 20th 2018 @ 4:02pm
              Jacko said | May 20th 2018 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

              CUW didnt Shields turn down an ABS selection before this squad? Turn it down when offered and it wont get offered again would be my belief

              • May 20th 2018 @ 5:14pm
                cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

                No the way it was reported is that he was told he is in line for selection this year.

                that is June 2018. he turned down becoz he had agreed to go to England.

                I do not remember any other time he turned down selection becoz the last time NZ played a match was in Oct-Nov 2017 and he was not in contention at the time.

                However as far as i recall he was not in any squad from 2011 onwards. Was he involved in training as additionals ? i dont know.

                BUT it has to be mentioned that he was injured at crucial times in the past – particularly when squads are to be announced.

                He could have been in the picture when they went for Squire – but if i recall correct he was out for many months at that time.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 21st 2018 @ 8:18am
                Shane D said | May 21st 2018 @ 8:18am | ! Report

                Shields turned down an invitation to join the squad during the November tour last year.
                He had already decided to head overseas & knew that if he played a test that would be his international career over with.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 7:57am
                Jacko said | May 21st 2018 @ 7:57am | ! Report

                i thought it was a call up to the Squad for the test in USA lost to Ireland but not surer 100%

            • Roar Rookie

              May 20th 2018 @ 6:52pm
              Kirky said | May 20th 2018 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

              There’s no doubt they’re blooding a number of players for the World Cup and not worrying too much about France that’s obvious, at the same time there’s some very good players that didn’t make it who no doubt will come into more serious contention come W/Cup time.

              As far as Brad Shields goes, he’s never really been in contention as an All Black, as he is a good player but hasn’t got that wow!! factor needed for an All Black side, not aggressive enough also!

              Hansen would’ve had his tongue planted pretty firmly in his cheek when he made the statement re him making this squad if he wasn’t taking off! bulldust!

              • Roar Guru

                May 20th 2018 @ 6:59pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 20th 2018 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

                So good to have you onboard Kirky so we have someone who can read Hansen’s mind…

          • Roar Rookie

            May 20th 2018 @ 5:53pm
            Kirky said | May 20th 2018 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

            Yep! Judging by the talent going around in New Zealand at this moment, I would say that the team to go to the World Cup and looking at the talent coming through at the moment, the W.C. team will be one of the best and talented side they’ve ever sent to the big one.

            Providing the Poms and Frogs don’t suck them up that is!

            • May 20th 2018 @ 6:12pm
              cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

              Semi Radradra is in the FIJI squad – got to see how he performs .

              but the man to prove a hell of a lot will be Brad Shields with England.

              last time they put someone in the team and left a few of the regulars – things went a little bad.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 20th 2018 @ 7:05pm
                Kirky said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                CUW, I agree mate, because I like a lot would never trust Eddie the Mouth to do the right thing by him because by what I read in the majority of the rugby sites of Newspapers up there, there’s a fair bit of angst among players, Coaches etc, ~ Hope it doesn’t blow up in his face as he is a hell of a good guy, but there’s no doubt he has been swayed by one E.Jones and that’s a worry as he’s not the most favoured son in the English Camp either!

            • May 21st 2018 @ 8:32pm
              Jacko said | May 21st 2018 @ 8:32pm | ! Report

              thats the great thing with a season and a half…they all want to play at the WC so we shouldnt lose many this or next year that we dont already know about

      • May 20th 2018 @ 1:20pm
        Pinetree said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        I would say that Lam had to put himself in a better positison than R Ioane for the left wing spot, as they probably see Naholo as a right wing specialist, and Lam maybe is best suited on the left, as the 2 positions can be quite different, depending on their strength of right/left boot/step/pass.

        Not surprising that the other positions in the outside backs are more versatile and can play fullback or wing and other positions. Lam still has plenty of time to work his way into the ABs, but he may have to prove he can play right wing as well as left, or get ahead of Ioane to claim the left wing.

        • Roar Guru

          May 20th 2018 @ 1:26pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          I think Rieko made a serious statement in the last two rounds. He shut down Lam completely and he was on fire in the rain against the Saders.

          • May 20th 2018 @ 1:37pm
            Pinetree said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

            Yep Neutral, Rieko has shown he is defensively much better than Lam also. It was madness that Tana played Rieko at IC in earlier matches, when he is currently IMO, the best left winger in the world at the moment.

            • Roar Guru

              May 20th 2018 @ 1:49pm
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

              Agree, Rieko is pure class and is second to none on the left wing.
              It goes to show that he has accepted Tana’s “madness” without a whisper of complaints.
              I have noticed that Rieko do more and more talking when the Blues huddles up and he has also gotten the captaincy at the end of games. Just goes to show his head is exactly where it needs to be.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 8:34pm
                Faith said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

                It’s not ‘madness’ when Rieko himself asked Umaga to play at centre. For the last few week he’s played to his potential at left wing. I’m still trying to figure how Cam Clarke ran him down … did he take it easy at the end of the run?

            • May 20th 2018 @ 2:59pm
              cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

              Lam can play on the right – he played on the right in 7S.

              Naholo can play on the left and Reiko can play on the right .

              Reiko can play 13 also well. Perhaps he will shift in after world cup.

              Lam is not yet good under high balls – understandable coz u rarely kick in 7S.

              Compared to naholo and Reiko – Lam played a lot more 7S.

              Naholo went to 7S coz he was not getting game at Blues. Reiko was picked out of school coz he was quick.

              Both came back to XVs rugger after one season. Lam played like 3 as far as i remember.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 4:34pm
                Council said | May 20th 2018 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

                To those questioning the selection of Ioane in the centres by Tana…

                Y’all know he only got selected there because of injuries right?

                Not because of Tana’s “madness”

              • May 20th 2018 @ 5:55pm
                cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

                still u have to wonder why Blues played Ledger at 13 – when he was last year under 20 team 12.

                and Papaili was the under 20 team 7.

                BUT got to admit their injury run is only comparable with some of the Aviva clubs.

                some of the guys being out for season – like Black , Moala , Preston , Scrafton … and Matt Johnson who was good in Miter 10.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 8:42pm
                Faith said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

                Naholo is not as great on the right as some games have shown. Lam is the greatest finisher in SR so far this season but to play for the ABs you have to be much more and that’s what he needs to work on. You simply don’t have the same kind of space in Tests. Also, Lam won’t be as good next season once coaches are aware of his threat. Also, part of the reason he’s so dangerous is because of the fact that he’s in a backline that opposing coaches also have to think about i.e Barretts, Laumape, Proctor, Aso, Savea, Scudder. So, once he gets the ball at the end of the line that’s it. Same thing with Aso and Laumape last season till opposing coaches realised you can’t give them a sniff.Also, the ABs (at least this set of coaches) stay loyal unless you really come off form like Savea. Once he dropped those BIL meatpies in the last game with his history of poor SR showing it was just a matter of time … Lam will get his chance. EOYT.

              • May 21st 2018 @ 5:25pm
                Taylorman said | May 21st 2018 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

                Well I hope so because non selections these days carry the risk of being picked up by the poor sides in the north who cant find their own players. Some clubs will have been waiting for this team to be named then will pounce. Wouldnt be surprised if a few signings are named shortly. Non selection can easily be placated with a million bucks.

    • May 20th 2018 @ 11:24am
      bluesfan said | May 20th 2018 @ 11:24am | ! Report

      Savea is gone – best bet is head off to the Nth and collect some nice retirement pay.

      Milne-Skudder – I personally wouldn’t pick him – I remember in last years BC he was run down from behind – so wondering if with all his injuries if he as lost his speed.

      R.Ioane – Watch the Blues/Crusaders game and the way he cut through one of the better defensive sides was pretty amazing – will be interesting to see who they pick as SBW’s centre partner – Crotty or Goodhue.

      Really think Crotty should have some time out of the game, as it feels like he is picking up concussions every game. Wonder about Duty of Care and what discussions are occurring about his health.

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2018 @ 11:42am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 20th 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

        Crotty is a real issue. He is the best center, but it is a gamble to build a combination around him when he gets injured so much and maybe is only one big hit away from being forced to hang up his boots.

        • May 20th 2018 @ 12:20pm
          Ben said | May 20th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          Yup agree on Crotty. Almost guarantee injury every game. Sounds like according to Hansen Procter and Aso are next in line so if i were them i would be keeping the track pants off.
          Absolutely no mention of Riccattelli in the post announcement which surprised me. Wouldve thought he was in top 3 but obviously not.
          I made mention of Frizel a couple of weeks ago so got that one but a while ago i remember Hansen saying Taufua lacked height so although i really rate Taufua was surprised they picked him. French will get a bit of a wakeup call ala Jerry Collins when Jordan gets on.
          Bit thin on experience at prop outside Franks and Moody.
          Feel for Jules…definitely gone now and i thought he been playing well this year. Glad Ardie in over Todd. Imo he offers more.
          Great call with big Sam as Capt.
          Interesting to hear Hansens take on Akira..wont play but want to work on his work energy during game and assertiveness in carries.

          • May 21st 2018 @ 2:08pm
            Johnny Boy said | May 21st 2018 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

            Moli, Laulala, Fidow, Hames, Aidan Ross and Hodgeman are all out injured atm. Some of these guys would have been selected had they been fit. Loosehead prop is still an area of concern in terms of depth but we are looking ok at tighthead.

        • May 20th 2018 @ 3:04pm
          cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

          Crotty will be lucky to go to world cup.

          he is more like a boxer who gets KOed in a few matches but never fully out.

          they want him becoz he is the best defensive center in NZ.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 20th 2018 @ 6:29pm
        Kirky said | May 20th 2018 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

        Crotty’s concussion issue is a worry because he must be pretty close to the threshold of being made to sit out which is a shame as he steers the backline around and there’s no better player anywhere than he at the moment having that steadying influence in the centres with all the go forward ability needed, reminds me very much of the ”snake”, one C.Smith!

        He gets himself injured a fair bit also usually by making himself the 9th forward and joining mauls etc knocking himself around in the process, ~ he goes hard close to the line also and has scored plenty of tries by doing just that, hitting it up when there’s really no gap whatsoever but being the solid dude he is it seems to get himself through and over the chalk!

        • May 20th 2018 @ 6:47pm
          cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

          Former HIGHLANDER SHANE CHRISTIE retired due to concussions.

          Crotty is not too far off – and im not so sure about these protocols in rugger.

          for eg. in UFC it is a mandatory 3 month stand down after a ” heavy ” fight.

          and the Blues let DUFFIE play on even after that heavy fall and obvios discomfort. while they took Parsons off immediately.

          then to hear that while Parsons had passed his test Duffie had failed….

          • Roar Rookie

            May 20th 2018 @ 9:34pm
            Kirky said | May 20th 2018 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

            Leon McDonald was another early retiree with concussion, Ben Smith is a bit of a worry also, he’s a;ready had a several weeks off recovering!

            Ngatai from the Chiefs is one player I’d really like to see in the All Black side, but he has been handicapped by his severe concussion issues last year after being picked in the squad proper, but it won’t happen because I’m sure he’s going to where the back pocket folding stuff is next Season!

            What an explosive player he is, he’s got it all, pace, kicking a top tackler and he knows the way to the line also! Real shame!

            • May 21st 2018 @ 5:08pm
              JP Bogers said | May 21st 2018 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

              Leons nick was Panadol… Nuff said 😉

    • May 20th 2018 @ 12:39pm
      Diggercane said | May 20th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

      Well, tough for Lam but not surprised to be honest, defensively not as good nor has the groundwork or versatility of the others, felt he didn’t do his chances much good against the Blues last week where Reiko seemed to have him covered though NMS certainly appeals as a ‘selectors’ pick so to speak but he always seems to perform, given both his and Naholo injury rate he will probably get a chance soon enough. Hopefully Lam can keep the pressure on, playing so well with ball in hand.

      Good to see we are developing some depth up front as well considering Hames and Laulala out who performed so well last season, not sold on Perry as yet but let’s see. Good squad, some unlucky lads for sure and congrats to the new faces, hope they go well.

      • May 20th 2018 @ 12:40pm
        Fionn said | May 20th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

        Surprised that Tuungafasi didn’t make it as a flyhalf after his pass last night.

        • May 20th 2018 @ 1:39pm
          Diggercane said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

          He can still come in at first receiver now and then 😉

      • May 20th 2018 @ 1:27pm
        Old Bugger said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

        Funny thing Digsy about Blam……for all his good finishing ability, on Friday night in front of Shag, he made 2 huge bloopers with dropping the ball. We all know he has some defensive issues, high ball issues but the last thing he needed to do, was show Shag that he’s not so good, with ball in hand.

        • May 20th 2018 @ 1:38pm
          Diggercane said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

          Yes, timing is everything, just needed to tuck and drop, not great but hey, all players have a bloopers reel 😂

          • May 20th 2018 @ 2:10pm
            Ben said | May 20th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            Hansen made specific mention of Procter Aso and Lam and said they are 1 injury away from selection.

          • May 20th 2018 @ 3:49pm
            cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

            it is interesting his habit of carrying the ball in his left hand for contact and then transferring to right hand to score.

            not sure of dotting down with left perhaps?

            i think the one hand thingy is a legacy of playing 7S for many seasons. look at Nakarawa 😛

            • May 20th 2018 @ 4:45pm
              Ben said | May 20th 2018 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

              Hansen on Ben Lam ” if he has the resilience to keep preparing and playing the way he is then he’ll get an opportunity.”

              • May 21st 2018 @ 9:40am
                Old Bugger said | May 21st 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report

                Just PC Ben telling Blam, to hold onto the ball, when he’s diving for a try. Not a good look dropping the ball in flight, to score a try.

        • May 21st 2018 @ 1:53pm
          moaman said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

          Old Bugger; Whilst those errors were glaring and untimely–I saw a stat a week or two ago that showed Lam had not made a single handling error all season!
          Also he had only turned the ball over twice, in contact.So I doubt the selectors would have turfed him based on that one game.
          I think his astonishing finishing and strength will keep him near the top of the queue and a run of injuries may be all he needs to get the callup.

          • May 21st 2018 @ 5:14pm
            cuw said | May 21st 2018 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

            i think it is more of a joke that he was dropped coz he dropped the ball.

            i think it is more to do with his limitations in XVs.

            he is not the best under high balls , and does not come in as first receiver – which Naholo Reiko Savea et al do.

            i guess that is an issue when u play in a team like Hurricanes with so many runners. atm he is just a finisher , where as Naholo and Reiko are more all round.

            but he will be there in an extended squad for sure. he is quick and big – not many with that combination.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 20th 2018 @ 9:38pm
        Kirky said | May 20th 2018 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

        Digger, You’re close to Hurricanes action, ~ Riccitelli mate, what do you reckon? I thought he may just make it, but!!!!

    • May 20th 2018 @ 1:44pm
      lassitude said | May 20th 2018 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

      Pleased for Taufua. Personally I think him not really being a lineout option is going to be an issue as a starting 6 or 8 but as a bench player who gives some good tactical options – very good.
      He’s the only flanker around that can more-or-less do a like-for-like replacement of Cane as well – wouldn’t be surprised to see him given some minutes in that role as well.
      Prop must be getting thin if Toomaga-Allen gets a look in – he’s not the greatest scrummager even at super level. I suppose they had to give Perry the nod with Hames and Crockett out.

      I see Fox and Hansen and Cane are all comparing Tahuriorangi to Graeme Bachop – now that’s really setting the bar high. Excellent if it’s true.

      • May 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm
        cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

        “Prop must be getting thin if Toomaga-Allen gets a look in – he’s not the greatest scrummager even at super level.”

        he was capped like 3 years ago if i recall correct. 😀

        • May 20th 2018 @ 4:00pm
          lassitude said | May 20th 2018 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          5 years ago against Japan and, conspicuously, not played a test since.

          • May 20th 2018 @ 5:36pm
            Fog said | May 20th 2018 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

            He broke a leg at the beginning of the next season after he had been included in an All Black selection and had to withdraw. He then had a further run of injuries and has only been injury free relatively recently.

        • May 21st 2018 @ 1:55pm
          moaman said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

          Can’t comment on Toomaga-Allen’s scrummaging prowess but I was hugely impressed by his carrying and outstanding workrate on Saturday.

    • May 20th 2018 @ 4:14pm
      Tom English said | May 20th 2018 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

      Good to see triple t making a possible entry…

      • Roar Rookie

        May 23rd 2018 @ 6:21pm
        piru said | May 23rd 2018 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

        Terrible Terry Tate the Office Linebacker?

        Surely he’s retired by now!?

    • May 20th 2018 @ 4:46pm
      Julz said | May 20th 2018 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

      Ben Lams chances of making the World Cup squad looks slim. The top three wingers are no doubt Ioane, Naholo and Skudder. And then you got backups like Jordie, Smith, and McKenzie.
      Lam would still make the ABs end of year tour but unless the ABs takes four wingers at the WC hes in.
      He should play for Samoa. Imagine that.

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2018 @ 5:02pm
        Machpants said | May 20th 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

        They’re only taking 31 or 32 (can’t remember which) on the EOYT to use it as a Japan RWC trial run. So unless there are some serious form drops or injuries, he’ll be staying home.

        So with Read, Coles (maybe), Laulala, Hames, Pat T, Dagg, etc a few players in the squad will miss out

        Akira Ioane is in to get beasted on the training field (attitude adjustment, maybe?) and Coltman to cover when Harris goes off for his babies arrival, due soon.

        • May 20th 2018 @ 5:21pm
          cuw said | May 20th 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

          well he could end up like Patrick Osborne .

          problem is there are quite a few backs who are capable and quick.

          I mean George bridge is playing crazy and Aso is unlucky he is at Hurricanes.

          and the only reason Tamanivalu is not in the picture is becoz he is leaving.

          When u consider both Aso and Seta can play in centers and Bridge is a fullback – then Lam seems the only specialist.

          At a world cup multi position players get the nod.

          • May 20th 2018 @ 8:53pm
            Faith said | May 20th 2018 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

            Tamanivalu made some crucial errors in the 2016 series against Wales. You can’t be an ABs midfielder if you are prone to try scoring errors (and defensive frailties) unless you have a real x-factor upside like Sonny Bill … that fend from J Roberts on Tamanivalu must still make the ABs coaches cringe. Crotty needs a sabbatical. Ala Ben Smith. Goodhue is potentially going to be one of the greats – he has size, never makes a defensive error, is an incredibly smart attacking player. And most importantly for the mid-field makes the right choices … and he is strong. I’m surprised at Perry and T-Allen making it. This is another weak position for ABs after Owen and Moody who must watch their discipline. T-Allen had the potential to become another Charlie Faumuina but then he got injured and is now error-prone. France are going to bring a brutal forward and scrum play and that’s where they will cause ABs some problems. Teddy Thomas is probably one of the top 3 most dangerous players in the world so the AB back three will have to watch him. Everyone is writing the French off for the first game – never write off the French (it is when you are least expecting it that they strike) …

        • May 21st 2018 @ 1:56pm
          moaman said | May 21st 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report


      • Roar Rookie

        May 21st 2018 @ 8:11am
        Shane D said | May 21st 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Lam isn’t eligible to play for Samoa.

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