A bit early but with the latest signings, what will the Blues look like in 2017 ?
So among the "new" players, we will see Manu, Hodgman and Pulu.
The First XV could be :
Luatua / Ioane
West / Francis
Ioane / Luatua
West / Francis
The weakest spot is at lock. Who will be Pat T's partner ? Scrafton ? He is unproven at this level. Or a new player ? (Rarasea, Martin ?) Unproven too ...
Any idea ?
1 Tau Koloamatangi, 2 Hame Faiva, 3 Sefo Kautai, 4 Jacob Skeen, 5 Brian Alainu’ese, 6 Jordan Manihera, 7 Murray Iti, 8 Whetu Douglas [c], 9 Harrison Levien, 10 Sam Christie, 11 Sevu Reece, 12 Tevita Taufui, 13 Willis Halaholo, 14 Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara, 15 Jordan Trainor Reserves: 16 Steven Misa, 17 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 18 Latu Talakai, 19 Leva Fifita, 20 Adam Burn, 21 Pele Cowley, 22 Jason Robertson, 23 Milford Keresoma
Johnny McNicholl, Marshall Suckling, Jack Goodhue, Jordie Barrett, Nathan Earle, Richie Mo'unga, Ere Enari; Luke Whitelock (c), Jed Brown, Reed Prinsep, Dominic Bird, Scott Barrett, Siate Tokolahi, Ben Funnell, Alex Hodgman Reserves: Nathan Vella, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Oli Jager, David McDuling, Billy Harmon, Alby Mathewson, Inga Finau, Ben Volavola
Tasman v Counties Manukau
Blenheim, 29 Sept 7:35 PM
Mitchell Hunt, Tima Faingaanuku, Kieron Fonotia, David Havili, Caleb Makene, Marty Banks, Billy Guyton; Pete Samu, Shannon Frizell, Tevita Koloamatangi, Alex Ainley (captain), Quinten Strange, Ross Geldenhuys, Andrew Makalio, Kane Hames Reserves: Jesse MacDonald, Tim Perry, Siua Halanukonuka, Jeff Lepa, Ethan Blackadder, Finlay Christie, Alex Nankivell, Trael Joass
Luteru Laulala, Sione Fifita, Sam Vaka, Cardiff Vaega, Sherwin Stowers, Piers Francis, Augustine Pulu (co-captain); Sootala Fa'aso'o, Jordan Taufua, Jimmy Tupou (co-captain), Matiaha Martin, Viliame Rarasea, Kalolo Tuiloma, Gafatasi Su'a, Sean Bagshaw Reserves: Hika Elliot, Pauliasi Manu, Sione Faletau, Matt Vaai, Onosa'i Auva'a, Richard Judd, Joe Ikenasio, Sione Molia
Wellington v Southland
Wellington, 30 Sept 7:35 PM
15 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Wes Goosen, 11 Malo Tuitama, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Tomasi Palu, 8 Brad Shields (c), 7 Greg Foe, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Chris Baumann, 2 Leni Apisai, 1 Ha'amea Ahio Reserves: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Alex Fidow, 18 Joe Apikotoa, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Galu Taufale, 21 Sheridan Rangihuna, 22 Pakai Turia, 23 Mike Lealava’a
Junior Ngaluafe, Tauasosi Tuimavave, Kieran Moffat, James Schrader, Keanu Kahukura, Wharenui Hawera, Jahvis Wallace, Mika Mafi, Tim Boys, Josh Clark, Matt Philip, Mike Stewart, Guy Millar, Jason Rutledge (c), Joseph Walsh Reserves: Brayden Mitchell, Peni Ravi, Shaun Stodart, Mike McKee, Phil Halder, Jimmy Cowan, Greg Dyer, Aleki Morris
North Harbour v Bay of Plenty
Albany, 01 Oct 2:35 PM
Matt McGahan, Matt Duffie, Matt Vaega, Michael Little, Tevita Li, Bryn Gatland, Chris Smylie, Murphy Taramai, Connor Collett, Glen Preston, Chris Vui (c), Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Sione Mafileo, Adrian Smith, Nic Mayhew Reserves: Vyron Smith, Hani Fatai, Jethro Felemi, Josh Tyrell, Kane Jacobson, Bryn Hall, Daniel Hilton-Jones, Afa Fa'atau
Isaac Te Aute, Monty Ioane, Lalakai Foketi, Teddy Stanaway, Regan Ware, Dan Hollinshead, Ruki Tipuna, Joe Tupe, Hugh Blake, Shahn Eru, Culum Retallick (c), Keepa Mewett, Pingi Tala'apitaga, James O'Reilly, Aidan Ross Reserves: Joe Royal, Solomona Sakalia, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Jesse Parete, Henry Stowers, Luke Campbell, Kelly Haimona, Te Rangi Fraser
Manawatu v Hawke’s Bay
Palmerston North, 01 Oct 5:35 PM
1 Chris Eves, 2 Travis Taylor, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 4 Tom Parons, 5 Jackson Hemopo, 6 Harrison Brewer, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 8 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 9 Kayne Hammington, 10 Otere Black, 11 Nathan Tudreu, 12 Hamish Northcott, 13 Ngani Laumape, 14 Ambrose Curtis, 15 Jason Emery Reserves: 16 Tim Cadwallader, 17 Tukiterangi Raimona, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Valentino Mapapalangi, 21 Toby Morland, 22 Sam Malcolm, 23 Curtis Reid
Matt Garland, Jonah Lowe, Robbie Fruean, Tiaan Falcon, Mason Emerson, Ihaia West, Chris Eaton, Fa'alemiga Selesele, Tony Lamborn, Trent Boswell-Wakefield, Mark Abbott, Geoff Cridge, Ben May, Ash Dixon (c), Tolu Fahamokioa Reserves: Jorian Tangaere, Ricky Riccitelli, Mason Kean, Ross Filipo, Ben Hamelink, Brad Weber, Billy Ropiha, Ryan Tongia
Auckland v Otago
Auckland, 01 Oct 7:35 PM
1 Sam Prattley, 2 Kurt Eklund, 3 Marcel Renata, 4 Scott Scrafton, 5 Liaki Moli, 6 Taleni Seu, 7 Akira Ioane, 8 Steven Luatua, 9 Jono Hickey, 10 Simon Hickey, 11 Pryor Collier, 12 Vince Aso, 13 Rieko Ioane, 14 Lolagi Visinia, 15 Melani Nanai Reserves: 16 Blake Hill, 17 Tom McHugh, 18 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 19 Ben Nee Nee, 20 Josh Kaifa, 21 Leon Fukofuka, 22 Liam Steel, 23 Latiume Fosita
Michael Collins, Mitchell Scott, Matt Faddes, Teihorangi Walden, Fa'asiu Fuatai, Fletcher Smith, Jonathan Ruru, Paul Grant (c), James Lentjes, Lee Allan, Tom Franklin, Josh Dickson, Donald Brighouse, Seko Pole, Craig Millar Reserves: Nick Grogan, Jonah Aoina, Michael Mata'afa, Blair Tweed, Naulia Dawai, Josh Walden, Scott Eade, Sio Tomkinson
Taranaki v Canterbury
New Plymouth, 02 Oct 2:35 PM
Stephen Perofeta, Declan O'Donnell, Seta Tamanivalu, Sean Wainui, Latu Vaeno, Marty McKenzie, Kylem O'Donnell, Iopu Iopu-Aso, Berny Hall (c), Mitchell Brown, Leighton Price, Ben Matwijow, Ryan Cocker, Rhys Marshall, Mitchell Graham Reserves: Sione Lea, Jared Proffit, Reuben O'Neill, Lachlan Boshier, Toa Halafihi, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Johnny Fa'auli, Jackson Ormond
Johnny McNicholl, Nathan Earle, Jack Goodhue, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Ben Volavola, Alby Mathewson, Luke Whitelock (captain), Jed Brown, Reed Prinsep, David McDuling, Scott Barrett, Siate Tokolahi, Nathan Vella, Daniel Lienert-Brown Reserves: Ben Funnell, Alex Hodgman, Oli Jager, Dominic Bird, Billy Harmon, Jack Stratton, Richie Mo'unga, Inga Finau.
Northland v Waikato
Whangarei, 02 Oct 4:35 PM
15: Solomon Alaimalo 14: Jordan Hyland 13: Warren Dunn 12: Dan Hawkins 11: Jone Macilai 10: Peter Breen 9: Malcolm Macleod 8: Matt Matich 7: Kara Pryor 6: Michael Faleafa 5: Shane Neville 4: Tom Robinson 3: Phil Kite 2: Matt Moulds 1: Namatahi Waa Reserves: Ross Wright, Howard Silioto, Matt Talaese, Josh Larsen, Aorangi Stokes, Matty Marwick, Tamati Tua, Waisea Lawebuka
15: Jordan Trainor 14: Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara 13: Willis Halaholo 12: Tevita Taufui 11: Sevu Reece 10: Sam Christie 9: Harrison Levien 8: Whetu Douglas 7: Murray Iti 6: Jordan Manihera 5: Leva Fifita 4: Jacob Skeen 3: Sefo Kautai 2: Hame Faiva 1: Tau Kolomatangi Reserves: Steven Misa, Latu Talakai, Joshua Iosefa-Scott, Mitch Jacobsen, Adam Burn, Pete Cowley, Jason Robertson, Milford Keresoma
Still a while away but im interested in what the 2017 Crusaders might look like.
The Blues seem to have made lots of signings already and other teams seem fairly settled with the odd new signing.
Other than Hall and Goodhue have the Crusaders made any new signings to fill the holes from guys leaving/not being up to it?
There issues seem to be in the backs mainly with the forward pack being impressive.
Losing guys like Fonotia, McNichol and Nadolo is probably a positive IMO. The first too because they weren't that good and Nadolo because it should force them to come up with something other than "give it to Nadolo" ball. Missing out on Barrett MkII was a blow obviously but there should be some other promising guys available.
Not sure if Fruen will be back but i would be tempted to sign him one last time and use him as a winger to provide some punch, which he appears to still have plenty of playing for Hawkes Bay. Would be having a look at Tongia and Jonah Lowe from Hawkes bay too depending on what their contract status is. What about the Tasman winger Faingaanuku? Seems to get talked up a bit and has looked decent the couple of times i've seen him play.
I haven't caught many of the Canterbury games so far so can't comment too much. What are the thoughts of those in the know/ those who care?