The All Blacks are arguably the greatest sports dynasty of all time because of their dominance of rugby union. For a team to play such a prominent role in a sport, during a professional era, is almost unthinkable.
The way the Kiwis have produced world class players such as Dan Carter or Richie McCaw showcases their superiority. The All Blacks are firmly in a stage of transition because of the recent retirements but while they have lost Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Tony Woodcock, they seem to have only improved on their own potential further…
If you reflect upon their series whitewash against Wales and recent victories against Australia, they look even stronger than at last year’s World Cup and are, therefore, the very best in the world.
If there was a team with the potential to beat them, it would need to be powerful and creative. Furthermore, it would need strength in the set piece and from the kicking tee.
In conclusion, this is my XV to beat the All Blacks.
Why they were picked
In my front row I’ve chosen Irish loosehead Jack McGrath because he is a solid scrummager and the likely Lions starter. Alongside him is Agustin Creevy at hooker. Many have praised him following his performances against South Africa but most of all, Creevy is the modern day all round hooker. WP Nel would make it into a Lions team tomorrow. He can defend, scrum and run with the ball, it seems like you couldn’t ask for more in a prop.
In the second row, I have opted for youth and pace. England’s golden boy Maro Itoje is in the team for his athleticism and all round game. Eben Etzebeth is included for his ferocity and hard hitting while also being a threat throughout.
Sam Fardy was Australia’s unsung hero of the World Cup in 2015 with his performances. His work at the set piece and breakdown makes him merit a place in this team. David Pocock plays in his normal position with his fetching from the breakdown being second to none. At number eight I picked Billy Vunipola as he’s more devastating than Taulupe Faletau so, as a result, big Billy is at number eight.
Faf de Klerk was instrumental in the success of the Lions in Super Rugby. His accelerations and forward thinking earn him a spot in my team. Alongside him at fly half half is Dan Biggar. The Welshman has the best aerial game for a fly half and is monumental with the boot.
To beat the All Blacks, creativity and brains are needed. Having Owen Farrell at inside centre allows two playmakers in the team. This gives the team an additional kicking option as well as Farrell’s eye for a killer pass. Outside him is the wrecking ball that is Tevita Kuridrani. Like most Australians, he’s having a bad patch of form right now but his powerful running is undeniable.
The back three consists of speed, power and agility. The agility comes in the form of Juan Imhoff who scores tries for fun. On the other wing is the power in George North, who scores tries and also beats defenders from anywhere. At full back is the pace of Israel Folau who can win the high ball tremendously and has one of the best try ratios. Consequently he makes it into the team.
1. Jack McGrath
2. Agustin Creevy
3. WP Nel
4. Maro Itoje
5. Eben Etzebeth
6. Scott Fardy
7. David Pocock
8. Billy Vunipola
9. Faf De Klerk
10. Dan Biggar
11. George North
12. Owen Farrell
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Juan Imhoff
15. Israel Folau
Patrick Perry, Pundit Arena
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