Richard Ferguson

Centre stocks low in New Zealand

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, The Rugby Championship on 25 Jul 2012 at 08:50
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Looking forward to the Rugby Championship, it seems New Zealand coach Steve Hansen will have an interesting time finding fit centres to take on the Argentines, Boks and Wallabies.

It was reported a few weeks ago that Richard Kahui has a serious shoulder injury, ruling him out of taking any part in the inaugural competition. Further to this, Sonny Bill Williams has ruled himself out of further All Black caps, signing to play in Japan before returning to league.

The website had further bad news for Hansen this morning, reporting that Conrad Smith will be out of action for about six weeks, following eye surgery. It is reported that Cmith had two procedures on his left eye for a retinal detachment. The surgery went well, but the player will not be able to take part in training for at least four weeks.

With the All Blacks selectors due to name a training squad early next week, it will be interesting to see who cracks the nod. It could spell a return to the starting line-up for Ma’a Nonu, who took no part in the June internationals against Ireland. This could also open the door to a shift for Dan Carter to the inside centre jersey, while Aaron Cruden steps into the flyhalf berth, but this is mere speculation on my part.


  • Tamati Ellison will probably get his opportunity now, and Ben Smith could get a shot at centre.

    Normally Robbie Fruean would be a shoe in, but his all-round game is shocking, regardless of how good he can sometimes be with ball in hand.

  • Comment 1, posted at 25.07.12 09:00:24 by hendrikp Reply
    hendrikpCurrie Cup player
  • @hendrikp (Comment 1) :

    Ben Smith is a fullback/wing right? I thought of him when writing the article, but I cannot say for sure that I rate him as a centre.

    As for Fruean, he looks great for the Crusaders, because of the players around him. That said, he will have great players around him for the All Blacks, so why not give him a go?

    I’d go for Ellison though, he has shown decent form so far this year..

  • Comment 2, posted at 25.07.12 09:09:29 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • I’ve also always rated Tim Bateman, he’s not as flashy as Sonny Bill or Ma’a, but he runs a good line and has been really good inside Conrad Smith. He and Ellison I think would make aver good new combo for NZ.

    Otherwise like you said, Carter at 12 making room for Cruden and then Ellison or NZ has always had some success in moving fullbacks to 13, like Muliana and Cullen, so maybe one of Ben Smith, Robbie Robinson, Isreal Dagg, or even the very exciting Andre Taylor … al of whom have had excellent seasons at fullback and won’t all be able to play 15 for NZ, can be moved into 13.

  • Comment 3, posted at 25.07.12 09:37:41 by Letgo Reply
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    LetgoAssistant coach

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