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Rebels v Blues
Melbourne 23-Feb 9:45 PM

1 Cruze Ah-Nau, 2 Pat Leafa, 3 Laurie Weeks, 4 Steve Cummins, 5 Lopeti Timani, 6 Jordy Reid, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 9 Nic Stirzaker (c), 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 11 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 13 Mitch Inman, 14 Jack Maddocks, 15 Jack Debreczeni
Reserves: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Moloney, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Jonah Placid

Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Piers Francis, Melani Nanai, Ihaia West, Augustine Pulu; Akira Ioane, Blake Gibson, Steven Luatua, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Jimmu Tupou (capt), Sione Mafileo, Matt Moulds, Pauliasi Manu
Reserves: Hame Faiva, Sam Prattley, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Scrafton, Murphy Taramai, Sam Nock, George Moala, Rene Ranger

Highlanders v Chiefs
Dunedin 24 Feb 7:35 PM

Ben Smith (c), Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Rob Thompson, Tevita Li, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Liam Squire, James Lentjes, Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Alex Ainley, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown
Reserves: Adrian Smith, Craig Millar, Guy Millar, Jackson Hemopo, Elliot Dixon, Kayne Hammington, Fletcher Smith, Matt Faddes

Damian McKenzie, Toni Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Johnny Faauli, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow; Liam Messam, Mitchell Karpik, Taleni Seu, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Hika Elliot, Kane Hames
Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Atu Moli, Mitchell Brown, Lachlan Boshier, Jonathan Taumateine, Tim Nanai-Williams, Shaun Stevenson

Reds v Sharks
Brisbane 24 Feb 10:00 PM

15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain)
Reserves: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Markus Vanzati, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Izaia Perese

15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Reserves: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claasens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Clement Poitrenaud

Sunwolves v Hurricanes
Tokyo 25 Feb 5:15 PM

Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Otere Black, TJ Perenara (c), Blade Thomson, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, James Blackwell, Jeff To'omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves
Reserves: Dane Coles, Ben May, Mike Kainga, Reed Prinsep, Callum Gibbins, Chris Smylie, Beauden Barrett, Vince Aso

Crusaders v Brumbies
Christchurch 25 Feb 7:35 PM

1 Nic Mayhew, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 4 Rory Arnold, 5 Sam Carter, 6 Scott Fardy, 7 Chris Alcock, 8 Jordan Smiler
9 Joe Powell, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 11 James Dargaville, 12 Kyle Godwin, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 14 Henry Speight, 15 Aidan Toua
Reserves: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Isaac Thompson

1 Joe Moody, 2 Ben Funnell, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 6 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd (vc), 8 Whetu Douglas, 9 Bryn Hall, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 11 George Bridge, 12 Ryan Crotty (vc), 13 Jack Goodhue, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 15 Israel Dagg
Reserves: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Ereatari Enari, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 David Havili

Waratahs v Force
Sydney 25 Feb 9:45 PM

Cheetahs v Lions
Bloemfontein 26 Feb 2:05 AM

Kings v Jaguares
Port Elizabeth 26 Feb 4:15 AM

Stormers v Bulls
Cape Town 26 Feb 6:30 AM

(53613 Views / 2 Upvotes)
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It's that time of the year again. I know you've all been waiting for it!!

The 12th (Usually*) Annual The Silver Fern Dot Com Team of the Year !!

yay! yay!

Nomination threads are set up in the TSF Competitions Forum http://www.thesilverfern.com/category/8/tsf-competitions coz I don't know where the Team of the Year forum went.

Rules are pretty much the same as usual:

  1. Nominate players by position. Include your reasons for doing so. Only in the odd minority of cases will nominations be accepted without supporting argument (i.e., Beauden Barrett).

  2. This is your opportunity to argue against other nominations as well. Feel free to pile in.

  3. Nominated players must have played at least one test match this year. Regardless of that form in competitions below international level is still admissible as evidence in support of a nominee.

  4. The Judging Committee (me) reserves the right to accept, reject or laugh hysterically at any or all nominations.

  5. Any situation not covered by the above rules will be dealt with by making up further rules on the spot.

A full* list of TSF ToTYs since 2005 follows (edit: in a later post ... this one takes up too much room).

  • except for 2014 which inexplicably I did not summarise and publish. D'oh.
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Australia batting first...for a change.

Finch gone cheaply (Boult got him).

Smith and Warner at the crease. This could get ugly - again.

Nicholls is in for Neesham who is still recovering from the Starc ball he copped on the forearm, and Ferguson is in for Henry.

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That time of year where it's a bit of fun to throw around ideas on the hypothetical World XV.

Paul Cully of Sydney Morning Herald gives a fairly decent attempt, with some good explanations too. As always there are areas of debate, for example I think Pocock at 7 and Read at 8 are a bit lucky.

As an aside - most of the players below (and fringe players mentioned in the article) will be involved in the Lions v All Blacks series - exciting times.

  1. Jack McGrath (Ireland)
  2. Dane Coles (New Zealand)
  3. Owen Franks (New Zealand)
  4. Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
  5. Maro Itoje (England)
  6. Chris Robshaw (England)
  7. David Pocock (Australia)
  8. Kieran Read (New Zealand)
  9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
  10. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
  11. Liam Williams (Wales)
  12. Owen Farrell (England)
  13. Jonathan Joseph (England).
  14. Israel Dagg (New Zealand)
  15. Ben Smith (New Zealand)

(7076 Views / 1 Upvotes)
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Nothing like a test series whitewash over the Number 2 ranked side in the word to gee ya up for a ODI series v Australia!

Really looking forward to this!!!

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