Oct 08, 2007 League Freak International Rugby League News 0
New Zealand have named a powerful side ahead of this weekends test match against New Zealand in Wellington.
The Kiw’s have gone for a great mix of impact, stamina and skill and will learn a lot about the type of lineup they want heading into next years World Cup.
When you consider New Zealand are missing the likes of Benji Marshall and Sonny Bill Williams it just shows what amazing depth and strength the Kiwi’s have.
Roy Asotasi was named as captain and with the leadership he has shown at South Sydney you can expect him to remain as New Zealand test captain for a long time to come.
The Official New Zealand Test Side Is:
1. Krisnan Inu
2. Luke Covell
3. Steve Matai
4. Paul Whatuira
5. Taniela Tuiaki
6. Ben Robert
7. Jeremy Smith
8. Roy Asotasi (captain)
9. Dene Halatau
10. Fuifui Moimoi
11. Simon Mannering
12. Frank Pritchard
13. Jeremy Smith
14. David Faiumu
15. Shontayne Hape
16. Sam Rapira
17. Jeff Lima
I really like the look of the New Zealand outside backs.
Krisnan Inu, Taniela Tuiaki and Steve Matai all bring a bing impact to the game in attack and defense. Inu has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few months to the point where you could say his development has been Israel Folau like.
It will be interesting to see how the halves go. Both Smith and Roberts are not their clubs number one playmaker and play for of a complimentary role at club level but one of them needs to step up and take control in this game.
The Kiwi’s forward pack is great, Asotasi and Moi Moi give great go forward, Halatau can cause problems with his robust running, Pritchard is a destructive runner, Mannering is more suited to the back row and Smith has been in great form.
I’ve been really impressed by the bench New Zealand has picked as well. It a bench with good impact but at the same time players who will be able to come into the side and grind out the game when needed.
I think this could be a bit of a turning point for New Zealand and the way they approch the game. In the past they have selected a big side with a lot of impact but they have lacked stamina, mobility and skill.
This lineup is very much the type of side Australia rep sides are selected along.
Its a great sign for New Zealand but for Australia, its a sign that the next 13 months towards the World Cup final will be a very tough and challenging journey.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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