As the All Blacks approach the July series of three tests against Ireland, national selections are running out of time to complete their contingent on Wednesday.
Head coach Ian Foster and his colleagues nominate four or five midfielders on the 36-member team to play against the Irish, but with a bunch of candidates pushing for a choice, few players are sure they will be placed in this position group.
With veteran star Anton Lienert-Brown ruled out by shoulder injury, outstanding Blues player Rieko Ioane is probably the only choice from New Zealand’s healthy midfielders.
The rest of the seats available are well and really available, but former All Blacks hooker James Parsons believes young Chief Quinn Tupaea of Chiefs is the reigning player to finish second in the Irish series.
This is a verdict issued by a former Blues captain Aotearoa Rugby Pod when last weekend praised Tupaea’s performance in defeating the Chiefs against the Brumbies in Hamilton.
“You must think Quinn is acting.” I thought he was fantastic, “said Parsons Aotearoa Rugby Pod.
“I was talking about [Len] Ikitau and his meters after contact and penetration through the other side of the defense was Quinn exactly the same and seems to be getting better and better, but he is more confident in his own abilities.
“It will happen.” [at test level]so you would have to give it an inner run. ”
These comments come after Tupaea – who started in second place in the last test in New Zealand in 2021, defeated France in Paris – was thoroughly researched by the great All Blacks player Sir John Kirwan and former Highlanders who attacked Joe Wheeler. . Distribution last week.
Kirwan said that while Tupaea “is definitely All Black material,” he noted that the seven-test international test “needs consistency around small parts of the game.”
Wheeler, meanwhile, was “overwhelmed” by Tupae’s defensive work against the Brumbies, although former All Blacks wing Jeff Wilson said the 23-year-old player’s “offensive needs” were strong.
Wilson’s mood was repeated by Parsons, who added that the unplayed Highlanders, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, could be a left-hander in Foster’s squad after playing for the Dunedin-based Super Rugby Pacific franchise this year.
Umaga-Jensen was a shining light for Southerners, impressing with his physicality both on the second five and in the middle on the side that Parsons said was fighting for an attacking rise.
That’s why Parsons said the 24-year-old – whose strong form continued on Friday when the Highlanders made a strong 61:10 win over the Western Force at Dunedin – could be devastating as part of a more dominant attacking team.
“This is a bit off and I’m not saying he will potentially be selected to the All Blacks, but the guy who didn’t always have the ball on the front foot, Thomas Umaga-Jensen,” Blues Centurion said Aotearoa Rugby Pod.
“Even on the weekend [against the Reds], is really talented. He has a bright future if he can stand it.
“As for the team, he is not doing so well and is performing as well as he is, imagine that he can get on the front ball. That would be great. ”
Both Tupaea and Umaga-Jensen are vying for All Blacks with Blues star recruit Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who has dominated the headlines since last year’s transition to rugby league.
There has been speculation as to whether the Dally M Medalist 2018 will be quickly included in the All Blacks after several Super Rugby Pacific games in its debut campaign.
The shoulder injury he suffered at the beginning of the year played a role in Tuivasa-Sheck’s limited appearances, but in several matches he played, the 2013 NRL champion showed his ability to break the game.
The flashes grew bigger and bigger as Tuivasa-Sheck gained more playing time, but Crusaders half-defender Bryn Hall believes it won’t be until the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs, when the 28-year-old begins to realize his potential.
Given that the league’s Blues leader is well on his way to hosting up to three knockout matches in the after-season competition, Hall said Aotearoa Rugby Pod that the intensity of these games will make them comparable to test rugby.
So if Tuivasa-Sheck can play in those matches, Hall said he would show his credentials as All Blacks second-five.
“I think with Rog, unfortunately, he had those injuries, and I think the biggest thing for him is that he will be able to accumulate more time by playing these trans-Tasman games and by being able to find his feet for what it is. means. ” it should be 12, “Hall said.
“I think the biggest thing for Rog will be in the later part of the competition, when the Blues are in those final stages and are playing against the highly challenging scenarios you will need against Ireland or [at a] World Cup, where it will be a hot competition and you will decide under pressure against a high level team.
“I think for Rog, at times like this, I think he will find balance and be able to gain such minutes and an understanding of what it’s like to be 12.
“When he starts pushing in the final match, and if he gets a chance to start, I’ll see how he does in that role.”
Parsons agreed with Hall’s claims when he said that Tuivasa-Sheck’s experience playing between Ioan and top five Beauden Barrett in the star-studded Blues backline puts him in the All Blacks selection.
“The more trust Roger can gain with Beaudy and Rieko, it gives him the opportunity to have a cohesive nature and the confidence of the selectors to potentially give him an opportunity against Ireland,” Parsons said.
However, joining Foster’s team will not be easy, as Hall has highlighted a number of other candidates fighting for seats in the middle of New Zealand’s advance.
“You also have Quinn Tupae, you have David Havili, who was in the All Blacks last year and can cover a lot of positions as well as 12,” Hall said. Aotearoa Rugby Pod.
“You have Braydon Ennor here, Jack Goodhue is with us, and so is Alex Nankivell, who raises his hand again for being 12 or 13 on the team.”
“It will be interesting to see how many they select. Will they choose five or leave it at four? You also have Jordie Barrett, who he thinks could be 12, so there are many ways you can go.
“I think it’s still a hand in hand for midfielders, a constant shift and a good reason to choose four or five midfielders for the Rugby and Irish Championships.”
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