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All Blacks vs Wales: A good time to tour New Zealand?

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:49 am

Wales are to meet the All Blacks three times on a summer tour of New Zealand, which takes place some time in June. Wales are also set to face-off against the Chiefs three days after the first test, I think we're just waiting for the go ahead from world rugby. Is now a better time than ever to play the back-to-back world champions/best team to ever have graced the sport?

NZ will be without: Mealamu, Woodcock, McCaw, Carter, Nonu, Smith, SBW, Slade - there might be some others? That's the good news. The bad news is NZ should still be able to call upon Cole, Retalick, Whitelock, Smith, Barrett, Fekitoa, Milner-Scudder, Savea, etc. It's also possible that guys like Dagg and Luatua could come back in. It's a long way off, but Kiwi's, what might the ABs and Chiefs team look like come June?

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:54 am

For experience? Yes definitely.

As a moral booster? Absolutely not.

There is a realistic chance that Wales could be on the plane home winless.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:56 am

It's probably the best timing you can hope for! Despite the conveyor best of brilliant talent any team losing the experience and class they're going to lose is going to feel it.

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Post by SecretFly Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:03 am

Realistic chance of returning home winless?

I'd assume the objective is to win one - so all teams try to avoid the 'realistic' chance when they head down there.... Wink

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:04 am

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:

There is a realistic chance that Wales could be on the plane home winless.

Yep, and they wouldn't be the only team to have done so.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:08 am

SecretFly wrote:Realistic chance of returning home winless?

I'd assume the objective is to win one - so all teams try to avoid the 'realistic' chance when they head down there.... Wink

Thanks smartarse Wink

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Post by fa0019 Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:13 am

Toughest place to tour in the world.

Weather ain't great at that time of year
End of season tour i.e. you'll have injuries.
Players will have world cup fatigue.
Long travel
NZ will be gearing up middle season and will be reasonably fresh

When was the last time ANYONE won a game in NZ vs. NZ. The answer was SA, 6 years ago (will be near 7 come the welsh tour) and then they were

a) World champions
b) had 3 nice tune up games vs. the Lions to hit the ground running

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:16 am

Presuming Mikey that you were intending on winning, then I would say the best time to beat the All blacks was last weekend, then you would have something to show for your efforts.

In respect of playing the Chiefs, that will be a development team, you will be playing, as that game will fall during a break in Super Rugby, and Waikato will have a number of their International players out ie Retallick, SBW, Cruden, Kerr -Barlow, Messam, Anscombe etc. Think of it from Rennie's point of view, his job is to win a competition that the Chiefs play in.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:22 am

aucklandlaurie wrote: Presuming Mikey that you were intending on winning, then I would say the best time to beat the All blacks was last weekend, then you would have something to show for your efforts.

In respect of playing the Chiefs, that will be a development team, you will be playing, as that game will fall during  a break in Super Rugby, and Waikato will have a number of their International players out ie Retallick, SBW, Cruden, Kerr -Barlow,  Messam, Anscombe etc. Think of it from Rennie's point of view, his job is to win a competition that the Chiefs play in.

Well no... Not that I doubt NZ infinite conveyor belt of talent after watching the S15 final, but surely it is the best time to get a win over NZ when they're without some of their most influential players such McCaw, Carter, Nonu, Smith among some others.

Surely it would still be Chiefs best available team, when has a rugby franchise ever put out a development team against a touring international team?

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Post by fa0019 Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:24 am

that or chaps like cane, Cruden etc will be wanting to lay down a marker, lay claim to the shirt.

The side will be so strong that only the very best will come even close.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:38 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
aucklandlaurie wrote: Presuming Mikey that you were intending on winning, then I would say the best time to beat the All blacks was last weekend, then you would have something to show for your efforts.

In respect of playing the Chiefs, that will be a development team, you will be playing, as that game will fall during  a break in Super Rugby, and Waikato will have a number of their International players out ie Retallick, SBW, Cruden, Kerr -Barlow,  Messam, Anscombe etc. Think of it from Rennie's point of view, his job is to win a competition that the Chiefs play in.

Well no... Not that I doubt NZ infinite conveyor belt of talent after watching the S15 final, but surely it is the best time to get a win over NZ when they're without some of their most influential players such McCaw, Carter, Nonu, Smith among some others.

Surely it would still be Chiefs best available team, when has a rugby franchise ever put out a development team against a touring international team?


Did you see that Brumbies side that played against the Lions two years ago? Its not a case of being disrespectful, its more a about a coach (Rennie) letting some players have some recovery time as the super zillion will have been going for four months when this game comes about. It gives Gatty a chance to take his players into Rugby Heartland. they will be better for the expeience.

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Post by fa0019 Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:40 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
aucklandlaurie wrote: Presuming Mikey that you were intending on winning, then I would say the best time to beat the All blacks was last weekend, then you would have something to show for your efforts.

In respect of playing the Chiefs, that will be a development team, you will be playing, as that game will fall during  a break in Super Rugby, and Waikato will have a number of their International players out ie Retallick, SBW, Cruden, Kerr -Barlow,  Messam, Anscombe etc. Think of it from Rennie's point of view, his job is to win a competition that the Chiefs play in.

Well no... Not that I doubt NZ infinite conveyor belt of talent after watching the S15 final, but surely it is the best time to get a win over NZ when they're without some of their most influential players such McCaw, Carter, Nonu, Smith among some others.

Surely it would still be Chiefs best available team, when has a rugby franchise ever put out a development team against a touring international team?

um.. have you watched a lions series since 2001? I can't remember a team putting out a full strength side. NZ Maori often put out a good side. The rest are simply C team players.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:56 am

I can't remember which Brumbies team run out, but the Lions thrashed the Force that year didn't they? The Perth based franchise were having a bad season if I remember rightly. Besides those, S15 teams don't tend to be that far off throughout the 80 minutes. Bearing in mind, fa, we're talking about Franchises here not invitational and domestic teams.

If that's what you believe Laurie then fair enough. But I would just guess that one of the best like Chiefs would have a pretty strong squad to call upon, even when they're shy of their All Blacks. Wasn't Rennie one of Gatlands' rivals for the Chiefs job? Gatland vs Rennie in Warren G's hometown. I think it might be bigger than what you make out.

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Post by rodders Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:05 am

I'd say the best time to tour NZ is when the all blacks are off touring somewhere else!
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Post by Dontheman2 Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:09 am

Look on the bright side Tattie ffs. Look what it's done for ,Argentina! Btw as they are now RC do they get tours?. I know that England did couple years back but was that a one off? And Fa haven't WR or whoever put a stop to m putting up boys teams v Lions?

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:10 am

Mikey the Lions/Chiefs game will be good for both coaches, all players concerned that are available to play and the people of Hamilton.

The same reason that Wales was based in Hamilton for as many possible games in the 2011 World Cup. Warren Gatland is hugely respected around the Waikato/Bay of plenty area.

Super xv squads arent as big as Heineken cup squads. and the merits of that could make a good discussion at another time and place.

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Post by yappysnap Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:27 am

Last NH team to win in NZ was France back in '09 I think.

Can't see any one managing it again for a while. Better to just not get a hammering.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:29 am

Is there a good time?
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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:36 am

Never a good time, but they could perceived to be not as strong as previously. Might be a chance to catch them out, as France did in 09.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:39 am

Guess a lot will depend on our own state of injuries after the 6 Nations, some of the players currently out wont have played much rugby so should be a lot sharper and not tired.

Again it's when do we start blooding new players, do we use the summer tours, the AIs or the 6 Nations.
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Post by Guest Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:44 am

Wales to lose all matches by at least 20.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:52 am

World Cups, Bedford. That is when we blood new players... I do wonder if injured players like Davies, Williams, Webb and Halfpenny will be available - they could be brought back in for the Chiefs game.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:57 am

mikey_dragon wrote:World Cups, Bedford. That is when we blood new players... I do wonder if injured players like Davies, Williams, Webb and Halfpenny will be available - they could be brought back in for the Chiefs game.

Seemed that way and in all honesty most of them paid off. Those guys named will be fresh if nothing else, I think JD and Li Williams along with Anscombe should be available for the 6 Nations or parts of it.

It's players like Rob Evans, Nicky Smith and Moriarty we need to be bringing through now and deciding on who will be back up 10 to Biggar.
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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:13 am

Owen Williams is making headlines again, so maybe he's wildcard 2. Anscombe up against his old team, that'll be interesting Wink.

Who do you think will be in the ABs midfield - could be Cruden/Barrett, another, Fekitoa? Back 3 their options look good - is Jane still available?

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:16 am

They have so many to choose from hard to say who will be in there, isn't Rene Ranger also due back playing in NZ soon?

I would love to see O Williams get a crack as I would say he is more of a 10 than either Patchell or Anscombe who I guess are the next 2 in line in Wales but I see them more as utility players than a 1st choice No10, if that makes sense.
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Post by Shifty Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:57 am

I think Gatland doing a favor for his local team Waikato is a stupid idea, it's going to be really hard for the Welsh boys playing New Zealand 3 times on the bounce as it is, without having this silly distraction. I'm 99% certain Wales will play 3 and lose 3 against New Zealand, our players simply can't live with the talent and skills of the bog 3 teams. We'll probably get stuffed in the first test, then improve as the games go on, the third test we might hold them to a 10 point margin.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:22 am

They're not giving much thought to player welfare is my take on it. A four-match tour of New Zealand means they'll barely have time to turn around before they're into pre-season training, then there's a Lions tour the summer after next. It's too much, especially given how physical the game is now.

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Post by majesticimperialman Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:22 am

If Wales get as many injuries next year as they have had in this rugby world cup, they Wales wont have a chance of winning.

I know NZ will be with out most of their top stars due to retirement, but they still manage too produce other stars too replace them.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:21 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:They're not giving much thought to player welfare is my take on it. A four-match tour of New Zealand means they'll barely have time to turn around before they're into pre-season training, then there's a Lions tour the summer after next. It's too much, especially given how physical the game is now.

Don't some internationals start pre-season a bit later than the rest of the regional squads? Also I think we're expected to have more players on DCs by then, so they'll be due more rest.

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Post by blackcanelion Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:47 pm

I think it's a great time to tour NZ. It's a time of change for NZ. The biggest issue for NZ will be the midfield with Conrad, Maa and SBW all retired or unavailable. The biggest issue for Wales will be player burn out/injuries.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:03 pm

So.....what might the new midfield look like? Ben Smith coming inwards one position?

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Post by blackcanelion Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:16 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:So.....what might the new midfield look like? Ben Smith coming inwards one position?

I'm not sure. I think they're likely to either use players who've been in the mix before or a good club combo.

I'm guessing at this stage it could be:

Crotty, Fekitoa (both been All Blacks)

or

Buckman, Fekitoa (Both Highlanders)

If the Highlanders go well I wouldn't be surprised if its a Highlanders backline with Savea.

A lot's obviously riding on the Super XV. There's some exciting talent coming through, so it could be interesting.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:42 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:They're not giving much thought to player welfare is my take on it. A four-match tour of New Zealand means they'll barely have time to turn around before they're into pre-season training, then there's a Lions tour the summer after next. It's too much, especially given how physical the game is now.

Don't some internationals start pre-season a bit later than the rest of the regional squads? Also I think we're expected to have more players on DCs by then, so they'll be due more rest.


And the regions and their fans see even less of them.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:26 am

I know it's far more commercialised these days but these arguments over players being away weren't around in the amateur days when touring sides would be away for much longer. Teams seemed proud to have their players picked, that's not so much the case these days.
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Post by BamBam Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:35 am

Hopefully Ben Smith isn't picked at 13 again, he's such a good full back, why move him when you've got the potential of Fekitoa and Ngatai at outside centre

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:25 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:They're not giving much thought to player welfare is my take on it. A four-match tour of New Zealand means they'll barely have time to turn around before they're into pre-season training, then there's a Lions tour the summer after next. It's too much, especially given how physical the game is now.

Don't some internationals start pre-season a bit later than the rest of the regional squads? Also I think we're expected to have more players on DCs by then, so they'll be due more rest.


And the regions and their fans see even less of them.

If you're a true fan then you support whoever pulls on the jersey. The Irish don't have a problem with it.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:38 am

Of course I support whoever pulls on the jersey. My point is that Wales Test players become a less attractive signing for the regions if they hardly ever play, and it makes attracting Team Wales fans - something the regions get pilloried for not doing - even harder.


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:41 am

Not sure they'd agree, as surely they'd like to strengthen their squad. It's not so bad when the WRU is paying part of their wage packet.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:43 am

Sorry, edited my post.

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Post by Cardiff Dave Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:40 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Of course I support whoever pulls on the jersey. My point is that Wales Test players become a less attractive signing for the regions if they hardly ever play, and it makes attracting Team Wales fans - something the regions get pilloried for not doing - even harder.

Aye.

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Post by Cardiff Dave Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:53 am

bedfordwelsh wrote:I know it's far more commercialised these days but these arguments over players being away weren't around in the amateur days when touring sides would be away for much longer.  Teams seemed proud to have their players picked, that's not so much the case these days.

Our teams are still proud to announce their selected players and international tours were very different in them days and not as often. Which reminds me - Wales haven't played Australia for a while now.

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Post by Cardiff Dave Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:21 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Not sure they'd agree, as surely they'd like to strengthen their squad. It's not so bad when the WRU is paying part of their wage packet.

Cut the 13 day rule to 6, say and ditch the 4th AI. Everybody's happy!

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Post by Guest Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:45 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:They're not giving much thought to player welfare is my take on it. A four-match tour of New Zealand means they'll barely have time to turn around before they're into pre-season training, then there's a Lions tour the summer after next. It's too much, especially given how physical the game is now.

Don't some internationals start pre-season a bit later than the rest of the regional squads? Also I think we're expected to have more players on DCs by then, so they'll be due more rest.


And the regions and their fans see even less of them.

If you're a true fan then you support whoever pulls on the jersey. The Irish don't have a problem with it.

It's a bit cheeky to say that mind, when you've openly admitted you can't attend and I know Luckless does all the time.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:08 pm

Risca Rev wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:They're not giving much thought to player welfare is my take on it. A four-match tour of New Zealand means they'll barely have time to turn around before they're into pre-season training, then there's a Lions tour the summer after next. It's too much, especially given how physical the game is now.

Don't some internationals start pre-season a bit later than the rest of the regional squads? Also I think we're expected to have more players on DCs by then, so they'll be due more rest.


And the regions and their fans see even less of them.

If you're a true fan then you support whoever pulls on the jersey. The Irish don't have a problem with it.

It's a bit cheeky to say that mind, when you've openly admitted you can't attend and I know Luckless does all the time.

Well I didn't mean it the way you're putting it, and it really wasn't directed at LP. It was directed at fans who might be of the philosophy that they shouldn't attend if there's some squad rotation.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:17 am

The problem is that's the kind of floating / fairweather supporter that the regions get criticised for not getting through the turnstiles.

I think we're going off topic, though (my fault). My bigger concern was for player welfare and player burnout. Test rugby is brutal and there's too much of it, and from a fan's perspective, I think there's a genuine danger of it losing its appeal. Playing the big three used to be such a big deal because it happened so rarely; now we play them all the time. Even Wales v England, which is still a big deal even though it's an annual match, is going to be a 'friendly' next season.

Sometimes less is more.

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Post by Seagultaf Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:09 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:World Cups, Bedford. That is when we blood new players... I do wonder if injured players like Davies, Williams, Webb and Halfpenny will be available - they could be brought back in for the Chiefs game.

Seemed that way and in all honesty most of them paid off.  Those guys named will be fresh if nothing else, I think JD and Li Williams along with Anscombe should be available for the 6 Nations or parts of it.

It's players like Rob Evans, Nicky Smith and Moriarty we need to be bringing through now and deciding on who will be back up 10 to Biggar.

Hopefully Wales have JD2 and Williams back for the 6N and Halfpenny, Scott Williams and Webb for the NZ tour. I have not been impressed to date with Anscombe (apart from 10mins in one of the warm up games) I know he is Wales equivalent of Burgess, so they had to play him, but now he should have to earn his place. Owen Williams and Patchell have looked better at 10 and Dan Evans has been superb for the Ospreys at 15, so there is strength there.

The big need that Wales have is an alternative to Jenkins who is beginning to look past his prime. Evans has been performing well and it will be interesting to see what happens with Smith now that he has James and Bevington ahead of him for the Ospreys jersey. Wales also need a back up 8, which is looking like an interesting battle between Moriarty and Baker. They also need a back up line out forward as Alan Wyn and Charteris are getting older and whilst Bradley and Ball are very good players neither are really lineout experts, answers on a postcard?

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Post by Shifty Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:48 am

I think Gatland might of lost a little faith in Dan Baker. Dan looked great a few years ago like a young Scott Quinell, but he seemed to go off the boil or possibly stop trying as hard after breaking into the Welsh squad. I'm not sure whats happened to him really. Hopefully he can recapture his best form again.

Moriarty looks a bloody decent player in the making.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:55 am

Dan Baker is a strange one. As you say, he was a force of nature a while ago.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:32 pm

He's certainly struggled after returning from injury, still a young lad so plenty of time for him to develop. That said I would like to see Moriarty given a good crack in the summer
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Post by offload Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:22 am

It's always a good time to tour New Zealand. It's the greatest rugby nation on earth and any chance to go there and test yourself against the best should be taken.
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