ABs 2013 team: It's Cruden time
Pick your All Blacks dream team
With the All Blacks season looming, our readers give their picks for the line-up on the field.
The All Blacks in the past have been guilty of peaking between World Cups. Steve Hanson has already mentioned that the All Blacks will be in a transition year and many of the players are in their final season of international rugby.
Because of this and the fact France is not bringing their top team, I think this will be a great time to look at bringing players in.
1. Ben Afeaki: He has not played that many games but when he did his scum was stable and ruck work was great. For a prop that is all I need.
2. Keven Mealamu /Andrew Hore: They should start and play for as long as they can in the game. I would not put both the team. Either or, and maybe replace if the game is secured.
3. Owen Franks: He scums well, clears rucks well and defends like crazy.
4. Brodie Retallick: Hard working and quiet. Also, he has a great work ethic.
5. Craig Clark: With Sam Whitelock injured Clark gets my vote.
6. Steven Luatua: His form has been great and France might be a better platform for him to debut.
7. Sam Cane: He hasn’t played as many games as other No 7s but is still the top tackler. Also, he is always there in support of the player with the ball.
8. Kieran Read: (captain) There is no other better player. Also, it's a good idea to have him there with the two relative newcomers.
9. TJ Perenara: He's quick with a great set of skills and he suits the way the All Blacks want to play.
10. Aaron Cruden: I would try and give Cruden more game time in the jersey and see how he can handle it. Carter has a few more years but what if he takes a sabbatical or a holiday like McCaw?
11. Julian Savea: It’s scary to think that he can improve even more. We need a blockbusting wing and I think he provides us with that.
12. Ma’a Nonu: He has always been a player who plays well when he has great players around him.
13. Conrad Smith: A calming character and defence co-ordinator.
14. Ben Smith: Provides that extra organiser in the back three and also maybe a back up to 12/15.
15. Israel Dagg: Only there because he has a better kicking game compared to Piutau.
16. Dane Coles: I see him as the next cab of the rank in terms of hookers.
17. Tony Woodcock: He provides that experience that maybe we need.
18. Luke Romano: He is a great ball carrier and maybe a great impact player off the bench.
19. Liam Messam: He can cover 6,7,and 8.
20. Piri Weepu: We may need his calm to close games down. His form has been pretty good.
21. Dan Carter: Can cover 10, 12 and 15. He is still the best fly half.
22. Rene Ranger: He can cover centre and wing and he has been one of the form backs of the competition and also competes in the rucks for the ball.
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