I’ve posted a couple of ‘alternative’ England teams made up from those rejected for the World Cup in the last couple of days.
Today it’s the turn of those rejected for the All Black squad. There are three that have been suggested by different media outlets.
Like the English versions they are not identical, although some players feature in all three teams.
The first is from the New Zealand Herald –
Some powerful players that we’ve seen in the Super XV this season
TVNZ has a few differences and has included the immensely impressive Ardie Savea (brother of Julian) who would certainly be at the World Cup if he played for any other country! A gifted player at 7s too!
The suggestion for this team is that they would get to the quarter final stage at least if they were in the competition and didn’t include any players currently injured (like Aaron Cruden, Patrick Tuipolotu, Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu)
One bloke goes further and claims his 2nd XV could actually win the Webb Ellis Trophy –
This seems a bit strong to be honest, but then it is a very strong side!
Once again, all this is just a pub game talking about the players left behind – but some (from all nations) may well be called up if there are injuries. After all, look at who kicked the winning penalty in 2011. At the start of the tournament he was fourth choice fly half but ended up the hero after a freak run of injuries to Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Aaron Cruden.
It raises the question of the importance of the bench and the rejected players staying fit despite the disappointment.
Steve Hansen talked about how vital replacements can be in a competition where players are out of the squad if injured –
No one wants to see injuries, but it is something that all coaches will (hopefully) have planned for – and arranged for players to stand by!