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Thread: All Blacks loaded with talent for title defence at 2019 Rugby World Cup

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    All Blacks loaded with talent for title defence at 2019 Rugby World Cup

    RICHARD KNOWLER
    Last updated 16:59, August 28 2018


    New Zealand Rugby have ensured Steve Hansen will have a full arsenal of players to choose from as the All Blacks attempt to win a third consecutive World Cup title next year.

    Although New Zealand Rugby's contracting model remains under extreme pressure from various northern hemisphere markets, the number of test players committed through to the end of 2019 ensures All Blacks coach Hansen won't lack experienced or quality cattle for the global tournament in Japan.

    Of the 33-man squad recently named for the Rugby Championship, 32 have committed through to 2019 and beyond. Boom wing Rieko Ioane is expected to soon announce he will remain in New Zealand on what is likely to be a multi-million dollar deal.

    "Anyone who is finishing in 2018, we will definitely be talking to," New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said on Monday.

    "And there will be a big bunch that finish in 2019, so we are working our way through those. But I think, inevitably, there will be some players who we don't keep who are currently in that jersey."

    The vertebrae of the All Blacks team to start in the key games at the World Cup is expected to comprise hardened veterans. Barring injuries, this group should include test centurions Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and Owen Franks. Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Brodie Retallick have earned 70 or more caps each, while Beauden Barrett clocked-up his 66th against the Wallabies last weekend.

    More than 40 players who have represented the All Blacks have confirmed they will stay in New Zealand for 2019 and beyond. The big job for New Zealand Rugby, as Tew acknowledged, is to convince many of them to re-commit beyond the World Cup.

    Thirty-two of that number are off contract at end of next year, including Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea who recently declared they were only prepared to ink one-year extensions.

    No doubt the duo want to keep their options open, and given the money on offer in France, the United Kingdom and Japan they should be able to use that as leverage when they return to the negotiating table with New Zealand Rugby.

    The drop-off in the number of players signed-up for the 2020-21 seasons is dramatic, although there should be no reason to be unduly alarmed; New Zealand Rugby's contracting staff still have plenty of time to convince men to stay, and to stitch together decent financial packages.

    Ben Smith, Anton Lienert-Brown, Vaea Fifita, Nepo Laulala and Scott Barrett have already agreed to stay put – although Smith does have an exit clause – through to 2020. Codie Taylor, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Ofa Tuungafasi, Sam
    Cane and Karl Tu'inukuafe will remain through to 2021.

    Convincing experienced players to stay in New Zealand after the World Cup is getting more difficult. All Blacks coach Steve Hansen suggested the Government should provide some financial relief to prevent northern clubs from raiding our stocks, but that idea appears dead in the water already.

    It is up to New Zealand Rugby to find solutions. Clearly that is a challenge, given Tew revealed New Zealand Rugby are paying $5-7 million more than what they earn and 36 per cent of their costs are fixed and go towards professional players.

    After the 2015 tournament in England and Wales, the departure of a number of celebrated stars left gaping holes in Hansen's squad. Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Keven Mealamu, Ma'a Nonu and Tony Woodcock had all played more than 100 tests. Conrad Smith, Ben Franks and Colin Slade also departed.

    The flow to overseas clubs continued, but it is always stronger at the end of a World Cup cycle. Victor Vito and Charlie Faumuina left in 2016, followed by Malakai Fekitoa, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Steven Luatua last season. This year Jerome Kaino, Lima Sopoaga, Charlie Ngatai and Seta Tamanivalu also agreed terms with foreign suitors.

    Retention remains as important as regeneration and whoever replaces Hansen beyond the World Cup, and Ian Foster remains at short odds to be promoted from assistant, will want the transition to be relatively smooth.

    Although no paper trails are likely to be left behind, the players may feel entitled to ask for assurances that the New Zealand Rugby board won't appoint a left-field candidate prior to agreeing terms to a fresh deal.

    A new skipper is likely to be required. Kieran Read, who has played 111 tests and will turn 34 when the semifinals are staged in Japan, is yet to signal his intentions but it would be no surprise if he retired from the international game.
    Whitelock, if he stays beyond the World Cup, looms as the obvious candidate to replace Read. Cane has also captained the test team in the past.

    Tew took comfort from the fact the All Blacks had survived the exodus in late 2015.

    "There is always a turnover. Everyone was very worried at the end of 2015, when we lost Richie, Woody, Dan, Ma'a, Ben Franks, Conrad … That was a pretty scary moment wasn't it?


    "But in actual fact I think the All Blacks had a pretty good year in 2016 and have built on that. There are some players who are coming to the end of their careers, either here or full stop."

    NZ Rugby accept they have to be realistic, that they won't be able to convince everyone to stay.

    "We have got a lot of work in behind all this," Tew added. "Will we keep all the players we want to keep? Probably not, but hopefully the majority. The pressure, though, is the cost of it."

    UNDER CONTRACT
    2018

    Akira Ioane
    Rieko Ioane
    Luke Romano

    2019
    Dane Coles
    Nathan Harris
    Liam Coltman
    Owen Franks
    Joe Moody
    Tim Perry
    Kane Hames
    Sam Whitelock
    Patrick Tuipulotu
    Brodie Retallick
    Matt Todd
    Kieran Read
    Ardie Savea
    Liam Squire
    Jordan Taufua
    Luke Whitelock
    Shannon Frizell
    Jackson Hemopo
    Elliot Dixon
    Aaron Smith
    Beauden Barrett
    Richie Mo'unga
    Jack Goodhue
    Sonny Bill Williams
    Ngani Laumape
    Ryan Crotty
    Nehe Milner-Skudder
    Julian Savea
    Israel Dagg
    Jordie Barrett
    Waisake Naholo
    Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
    David Havili

    2020
    Ben Smith
    Anton Lienert-Brown
    Vaea Fifita
    Nepo Laulala
    Scott Barrett

    2021
    Codie Taylor
    TJ Perenara
    Damian McKenzie
    Ofa Tuungafasi
    Sam Cane
    Karl Tu'inukuafe

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/...2019-world-cup

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  2. #2
    Senior Player SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    RICHARD KNOWLER
    Last updated 16:59, August 28 2018


    New Zealand Rugby have ensured Steve Hansen will have a full arsenal of players to choose from as the All Blacks attempt to win a third consecutive World Cup title next year.

    Although New Zealand Rugby's contracting model remains under extreme pressure from various northern hemisphere markets, the number of test players committed through to the end of 2019 ensures All Blacks coach Hansen won't lack experienced or quality cattle for the global tournament in Japan.

    Of the 33-man squad recently named for the Rugby Championship, 32 have committed through to 2019 and beyond. Boom wing Rieko Ioane is expected to soon announce he will remain in New Zealand on what is likely to be a multi-million dollar deal.

    "Anyone who is finishing in 2018, we will definitely be talking to," New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said on Monday.

    "And there will be a big bunch that finish in 2019, so we are working our way through those. But I think, inevitably, there will be some players who we don't keep who are currently in that jersey."

    The vertebrae of the All Blacks team to start in the key games at the World Cup is expected to comprise hardened veterans. Barring injuries, this group should include test centurions Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and Owen Franks. Aaron Smith, Ben Smith and Brodie Retallick have earned 70 or more caps each, while Beauden Barrett clocked-up his 66th against the Wallabies last weekend.

    More than 40 players who have represented the All Blacks have confirmed they will stay in New Zealand for 2019 and beyond. The big job for New Zealand Rugby, as Tew acknowledged, is to convince many of them to re-commit beyond the World Cup.

    Thirty-two of that number are off contract at end of next year, including Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea who recently declared they were only prepared to ink one-year extensions.

    No doubt the duo want to keep their options open, and given the money on offer in France, the United Kingdom and Japan they should be able to use that as leverage when they return to the negotiating table with New Zealand Rugby.

    The drop-off in the number of players signed-up for the 2020-21 seasons is dramatic, although there should be no reason to be unduly alarmed; New Zealand Rugby's contracting staff still have plenty of time to convince men to stay, and to stitch together decent financial packages.

    Ben Smith, Anton Lienert-Brown, Vaea Fifita, Nepo Laulala and Scott Barrett have already agreed to stay put – although Smith does have an exit clause – through to 2020. Codie Taylor, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Ofa Tuungafasi, Sam
    Cane and Karl Tu'inukuafe will remain through to 2021.

    Convincing experienced players to stay in New Zealand after the World Cup is getting more difficult. All Blacks coach Steve Hansen suggested the Government should provide some financial relief to prevent northern clubs from raiding our stocks, but that idea appears dead in the water already.

    It is up to New Zealand Rugby to find solutions. Clearly that is a challenge, given Tew revealed New Zealand Rugby are paying $5-7 million more than what they earn and 36 per cent of their costs are fixed and go towards professional players.

    After the 2015 tournament in England and Wales, the departure of a number of celebrated stars left gaping holes in Hansen's squad. Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Keven Mealamu, Ma'a Nonu and Tony Woodcock had all played more than 100 tests. Conrad Smith, Ben Franks and Colin Slade also departed.

    The flow to overseas clubs continued, but it is always stronger at the end of a World Cup cycle. Victor Vito and Charlie Faumuina left in 2016, followed by Malakai Fekitoa, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Steven Luatua last season. This year Jerome Kaino, Lima Sopoaga, Charlie Ngatai and Seta Tamanivalu also agreed terms with foreign suitors.

    Retention remains as important as regeneration and whoever replaces Hansen beyond the World Cup, and Ian Foster remains at short odds to be promoted from assistant, will want the transition to be relatively smooth.

    Although no paper trails are likely to be left behind, the players may feel entitled to ask for assurances that the New Zealand Rugby board won't appoint a left-field candidate prior to agreeing terms to a fresh deal.

    A new skipper is likely to be required. Kieran Read, who has played 111 tests and will turn 34 when the semifinals are staged in Japan, is yet to signal his intentions but it would be no surprise if he retired from the international game.
    Whitelock, if he stays beyond the World Cup, looms as the obvious candidate to replace Read. Cane has also captained the test team in the past.

    Tew took comfort from the fact the All Blacks had survived the exodus in late 2015.

    "There is always a turnover. Everyone was very worried at the end of 2015, when we lost Richie, Woody, Dan, Ma'a, Ben Franks, Conrad … That was a pretty scary moment wasn't it?


    "But in actual fact I think the All Blacks had a pretty good year in 2016 and have built on that. There are some players who are coming to the end of their careers, either here or full stop."

    NZ Rugby accept they have to be realistic, that they won't be able to convince everyone to stay.

    "We have got a lot of work in behind all this," Tew added. "Will we keep all the players we want to keep? Probably not, but hopefully the majority. The pressure, though, is the cost of it."

    UNDER CONTRACT
    2018

    Akira Ioane
    Rieko Ioane
    Luke Romano

    2019
    Dane Coles
    Nathan Harris
    Liam Coltman
    Owen Franks
    Joe Moody
    Tim Perry
    Kane Hames
    Sam Whitelock
    Patrick Tuipulotu
    Brodie Retallick
    Matt Todd
    Kieran Read
    Ardie Savea
    Liam Squire
    Jordan Taufua
    Luke Whitelock
    Shannon Frizell
    Jackson Hemopo
    Elliot Dixon
    Aaron Smith
    Beauden Barrett
    Richie Mo'unga
    Jack Goodhue
    Sonny Bill Williams
    Ngani Laumape
    Ryan Crotty
    Nehe Milner-Skudder
    Julian Savea
    Israel Dagg
    Jordie Barrett
    Waisake Naholo
    Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
    David Havili

    2020
    Ben Smith
    Anton Lienert-Brown
    Vaea Fifita
    Nepo Laulala
    Scott Barrett

    2021
    Codie Taylor
    TJ Perenara
    Damian McKenzie
    Ofa Tuungafasi
    Sam Cane
    Karl Tu'inukuafe

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/...2019-world-cup
    Doesn't mean the will win, one bad game like in 2007 and it wont matter what form they've been in during the lead up. In saying that they are in a great position. They went through a bit of pain last year but as a consequence they now have a backup in pretty much every position. It was a year they had to have. Interesting time moving forward. The All Blacks have been in these dominating positions leading into Rugby World Cups many times and still managed the odd failure. What is different this year is that they have just gone through 10 years of complete utter dominance at both tests and Rugby World Cups. SYONARA as they say.

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  3. #3
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    The drop-off in the number of players signed-up for the 2020-21 seasons is dramatic, although there should be no reason to be unduly alarmed; New Zealand Rugby's contracting staff still have plenty of time to convince men to stay, and to stitch together decent financial packages.
    Perhaps the NZ contracting staff are working a cunning plan? A 6th professional side in NZ, who play in WSR?

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