A little bit of last minute advice for Shag as he sharpens his pencil for the All Blacks squad to be announced later today. Because what Shag is missing is some helpful advice from the sidelines.
Awhiles ago I did a reckon that the All Blacks squad should be made up of 18 forwards and 13 backs. I think that still holds. So here we go:
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Beauden’s going to play at fullback for the big matches. Yes he is. But I don’t think you take Josh Ioane, so Beauden is listed at first-five, and Jordie provides cover for the little matches.
Also, while Liam Coltman has got better this year at pinching the ball at the breakdown, he can’t throw in straight and his scrummaging is sub-par. So pick a different number 3 hooker: Aumua probably, but frankly there’s a half dozen in the mix.
Reiko Ioane has played himself out of the squad. Ben Smith is the wise head you want off the bench covering wing and fullback.
Over to you Shag.
(My actual guess is that Shag goes for a 17-14 split, drops a prop and includes Reiko Ioane. Also he’ll probably take Coltman.)