Home Rugby The 15 All Blacks That Look Ominously Good For Japan 2019 Already

The 15 All Blacks That Look Ominously Good For Japan 2019 Already

Steve Hansen and his All Blacks selectors already have an embarrassment of riches to chose from in the 2016 season. However, even more gems are likely be refined by the time the squad for Japan 2019 is announced. We take a look in the All Blacks’ crystal ball and uncover a potential team of devastating skill, power and pace.

15. Israel Dagg

This is the probably the call most pundits will cough up their cornflakes on, but for skills, pace and flair, Dagg – when he’s having fun – has it all. Will interchange with Ben Smith as wing/fullback.

14. Nehe Milner Scudder  

Currently injured, and perhaps needs to tap Ben Smith on the shoulder for advice on keeping his body together to be eligible. However, has electric footwork, freakish skills and vision in one package.

13. Rieko Ioane  

This is another big call, but given what the kid has shown so far  in such a short time (he’s still only 19), I’m betting he’ll be ready to explode on the world stage in three years’ time. In doing so, he may well come face-to-face with somewhat of a Matrix-type of mirror image in Israel Folau. There could well be a few Jonah moments.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 07: Rieko Ioane of New Zealand is congratulated by teammates after scoring the final try to win the 2016 Sydney Sevens final match between Australia and New Zealand at Allianz Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)
Ioane in action at the 2016 Sydney Sevens final. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)

12. Sonny Bill Williams

The All Blacks won the last World Cup with a very experienced squad and SBW’s skills, experience and aura will provide the necessary rock in midfield for other dynamos to run off. There is also still the distant glimmer of a Ma’a Nonu comeback.

11. Ben Smith  

He’ll be 33 by 2019, but given ‘Bender’s’ immaculate injury-free career, expect him to be there as a backline leader. Julian Savea may well battle back from his fitness and motivation issues but even if he did, the Bus could be parked on the bench as an impact player.

10. Beauden Barrett  

Another big call, but given the other riches in the backline, why not add the fizz of Barrett’s pace? Aaron Cruden has canny skills and a superb short kicking game but the question is: why would you need to kick with the devastating runners in this backline?

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 18: Beauden Barrett of New Zealand looks on during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Wales at Westpac Stadium on June 18, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
Beauden Barrett earlier this month. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

9. Aaron Smith

No surprises here, but watch out for Brad Weber to push Smith very close for his starting spot as he develops an all-round game to complement his electrifying pace.

8. Kieran Read (Captain)

Seems to have a clear head again after a few concussion issues during the World Cup. His all-round game is top drawer and he looks very comfortable in doing the Mc-job so far.

7. Ardie Savea  

The speed of a centre, the power of his brother, a ferocious tackler and never-say-go-down runner. Sam Cane won’t be able (see what I’m doing there?) to stop his rise.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 18: Ardie Savea of New Zealand makes a break on his way to score a try during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Wales at Westpac Stadium on June 18, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

6. Akira Ioane  

Anything little bro can do, Akira can probably do too. Some stiff and rugged competition for this position, but Akira has age, speed, power (pretty much everything) on his side.

5. Brodie Retallick

A complete player with intelligence, industry and grit. Will probably have added even more nuances (drop kicks?) to his game by 2019.

4. Sam Whitelock

Hard to separate Retallick and Whitelock, but the latter will face challenges from younger challengers like Michael Fatialofa and Taleni Seu.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 18: Sam Whitelock of New Zealand looks on during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Wales at Westpac Stadium on June 18, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

3. Owen Franks  

Inscrutable, indestructible and, given his penchant for bench-pressing the beds of other All Black room mates (with them cowering under the covers), possibly a touch insane.

2. Dane Coles  

Speed, skills, accuracy and a temper which is becoming more liquid steel and less Mt.Vesuvius. Could be remembered as an All Blacks great if he can continue his evolution.

1. Joe Moody

Looks and plays like a third Franks brother, which is like a bearded brick wall. One point of difference is the one-handed back of the hand offloads that are not brick wall characteristic.

Kaal Kaczmarek, Pundit Arena

About The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.