Exodus 2017

  • @TeWaio said in Exodus 2017:

    Compared to the class, say, Ireland have in the loose now, losing Luatua is a big blow.

    I think Heaslip, O'Brien, Stander and VDF would all make an extended All Blacks squad right now ahead of Squire, Dixon, Ioane, Fifita, Taufua. Maybe even Ardie.

    We have great depth in the loose forwards but the quality at test level is a little unproven.
    I think a player like VDF would thrive in the ABs but then given a chance so could the others you mention. don't count out Shields either. He never got the chance for an 'apprenticeship tour' due to poorly timed injuries and is doing his maturing at Super Level only. He looks to me like a test type player. Probably needs to ramp up domination in contact just a little.

  • One of the articles I read about Luatua equated him to Vito and I think that is fair. Vito hung around for a long time but a versatile forward, like a utility back, gets branded as 'jack of all trades, master of none' which keeps you on the fringe.
    Luatua's reasons of wanting to set his family up and give his kids a better life is a good one. As he says, he himself could remain comfortable in NZ but the 'upgrade' for the family pales compared to tucking away some big money in Europe.

  • I can see why he's gone, his only real route is as backup to Read, so thats not a great place to be. So good on him & I wish him every success.

    But he's a big loss to us, our loosie depth at 6 especially is terrible, Dixon & Squire looked like solid Super players stepping up too far last year. Both look like 6 or 7 out of 10 at international level with zero scope to get better. In contrast Luatua looked like 6/10 with a chance to one day be 8/10 - but only as an 8.

  • I thought Vito was a massive loss ,

    understand why he went too, but with him, I thought we had a ready made test player waiting in the wings

  • I still think Akira Ioane will comfortably make the step up. A few rough edges, but much better raw material to work with.

    No need to push the No.6 panic button just yet.

  • But that is the problem we have in some areas. It is difficult to hold a ready made player in the wings for a long time. They will never earn the big bucks as a reserve, they don't get the sabbaticals etc.
    A reserve/fringe AB is often still a top 10 player in their position in the world and can command a good deal overseas.

  • Yeah a young guy like Akira would look ahead and think read and Kai no haven't got too much longer , that could be perfect timing for me if I get my act together.

    Then Vito would think my time is now , I haven't got time to wait .

    That's where you could say it's disappointing with luatua, he does have time to stake a claim later .

  • Well, I'm a bit disappointed - I think M4L explained it best why.

    Having said that, Read is no.1 and will be right through to the next WC. Luatua is much better at 8 than anywhere else, so he's not looking at even getting selected if they decide they don't need cover for Read.

    Good luck to him, he's very good friends with my cousins and they say he is a super person. Hope he earns a bit of coin and comes back as a veteran player for Super rugby in the future.

  • From the article in the Herald today:

    Hansen has said in an interview that Luatua's representatives didn't communicate with New Zealand Rugby's contracts team as well as they could have, but Luatua said: "as far as I'm aware everything was on the table. They were aware of my situation.

    "I feel like my team communicated that aspect. Whether or not that got to the higher ups I don't know. But my understanding is that New Zealand Rugby were aware of the other offers."

  • Good to see he has thought about returning in future. Doesnt sound like there was much NZ Rugby could have done given his priorities.

  • @KiwiMurph yeah we just cant keep them all, people move (or don't) for a variety of reasons.

    Money isn't always a factor (usually not for those that stay) easy for us to sit here and claim we would do this or that, when most of us have never been in the position to have to make that decision.

  • @KiwiMurph said in Exodus 2017:

    Good to see he has thought about returning in future. Doesnt sound like there was much NZ Rugby could have done given his priorities.

    I'm pleased to see he's been pretty upfront that the cash was just too good to say no to.

    That having been said, as I've said before, I'm never happy with anyone leaving to play overseas - especially, when there are important roles they could still be playing here.

    They are cashing in on the intellectual property that pretty much all of us have contributed to developing in one way or another.

  • If you are in the top echelon of ABs and earn good money (in the $800K to $1M+ bracket) it's easy to say no to tempting overseas offers. But for fringe ABs like Luatua they are probably only earning a fraction of that coin without certain AB selection.

    Read's comments about Luatua leaving showed showed both sides of that argument. I'm sure if Kieran offered to swap his salary with Luatua's their respective decisions would be different. 😀

  • @Bovidae Yep.

    But, my point is a bit different. Luatua notes in his article that his parents had to make sacrifices for him and his siblings had to make sacrifices for him.

    But, they're not the only people who had to make sacrifices for him. All the amateur coaches who coached him, and parents who drove him to footy, and the kids who marginally missed selection to provincial and national teams who missed out on specialized coaching all made sacrifices for Stephen's benefit.

    I, myself, went to school with Andy Earl and helped refine his tackling technique. Every time Andy smashed me into the deck I was refining his tackling technique and indirectly contributing to the All Black blindside legacy.

    I should be fucking compensated for my contribution. Every time one of these professional rugby players ditches NZ I should be paid about 17 cents. Steve Tew should write it into their contracts!

  • Pat Lam fired up as being labelled an ex-NZer by Hansen ... He's got a point there, but he is forgetting that he convinced a current All Black to leave the stable and join his stable. So it's kind of fair for Hansen to be pissed about it.

  • @MajorRage You can just imagine the smirk on Hansen's face when he said that too.

  • @Hooroo exactly, I don't think he has said it as a slur or as an insult, purely as a humorous dig, Lam obviously didn't find it funny.

  • @taniwharugby @hooroo yeah I reckon Hansen knew exactly what he was saying and chose his words carefully.

    Lam has already sort of chucked out the race card already, and I expect this to be picked up on, circulated and go viral. Before of course, the rugby world police start up and really take this to the next level.

  • I'm guessing that this may also have been taken out of context - I imagine that Hansen was meaning ex-All Black? Not sure why he would be avoiding using the term though 🙂

  • But seriously, how thin is Lam's skin?


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