Who should come into the All Blacks starting XV for the third test?
OPINION: The best news from the weekend didn't come out of Christchurch on Saturday night.
No, it arrived shortly after lunchtime yesterday when one of the 16-strong management team from the All Blacks sent out an email.
"All Blacks lock Ali Williams is to undergo knee surgery and will be out of rugby for at least eight weeks."
That was the introduction from the press release before Dr Deb Robinson found time to tell us this was a new injury and not the one that had apparently been causing him concern.
The fact Williams has apparently been carrying an injury for some time could explain just why his form has been so poor in 2012.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had told us Williams was in the squad because they needed his experience, especially with test caps so low in the second row.
Not a bad argument but how often do you see someone with 75 test matches beside their name give away such a brainless penalty as he did at such a vital time against Ireland?
And how many times do you see someone with the experience of 75 tests let out a gob full of trash talk that costs his side 10 valuable metres after such a brain fade?
Not often, I would suggest.
Don't get me wrong, I have admired Williams at some points of his career.
But that was back in 2005, the last time he was at the top of his game when he was arguably the world's premier lock against the British and Irish Lions.
Since then we've had to put up with mediocrity, both on and off the field.
The low point of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup campaign for me was not the sight of Dan Carter rolling around the training ground in pain after tearing apart his groin muscle, although it was close. No, for me, it was Williams' woeful attempt at humour when he cooked up a plan to answer Sonny Bill Williams' questions at a press conference.
It was churlish and childish and you had to admire the work done by TV3's Jim Kayes to rightfully slam it.
Williams had had his issues with serious injury in recent years, which has no doubt affected his performance.
His latest problem should serve to end his All Blacks career because it's time to move on.
There are better options and better players out there than Williams.
Williams has lost not only his ability to be an effective ball carrier around the field, I would suggest he has also lost his scrummaging power, given the evidence from Saturday night when Ireland put real heat on his side.
As for the test, I hope it's the last one played in Christchurch until the city's planners come up with a concept to develop an indoor stadium. It's simply too cold and miserable in June for anyone to get any benefit out of playing rugby in the middle of the night in Christchurch, no matter how sorry we feel for the good folk down south.
Before the earthquakes changed the city forever, a work colleague headed to the old AMI Stadium to watch the All Blacks struggle their way past Australia in similarly bitter conditions.
He said the highlight of the night did not come from anywhere near the playing field, it was the halftime break when he could run his hands under the hot tap in the gents.
The conditions were a massive leveller again on Saturday but you had to admire Ireland for how they fronted.
The game, along with Australia's battle with Wales, was a great advert for three-test series and proved me wrong, again, because the Northern Hemisphere sides are worthy of their place on these shores at this time of year.
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