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Former All Black names his three NZ halfbacks for RWC

By Finn Morton
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

With this year’s Rugby World Cup less than six months away, former All Black Steve Devine has named the three New Zealand halfbacks he believes should go to France.

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Throughout the opening four rounds of this year’s Super Rugby Pacific season, some veterans and future stars have taken the competition by storm.

If it wasn’t clear already, it certainly is now – New Zealand has some world-class talent at halfback.

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But the maths just doesn’t add up. Only three of them can go to France.

All Blacks veteran Aaron Smith is seemingly the only certainly to go to this year’s tournament, while a handful of players continue to battle it out for the other two spots.

Finlay Christie and Folau Fakatava were picked in the All Blacks’ first Test squad of 2022, while Brad Weber and TJ Perenara returned to the international arena during the Autumn Nations Series.

Hurricanes halfback Cam Roigard has also emerged as a potential World Cup bolter following an outstanding month of Super Rugby.

But, again, they can’t all make the All Blacks’ World Cup squad.

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Former All Blacks halfback Steve Devine has named the three players he believes should go to this year’s World Cup.

“I think right now as it stands, Aaron Smith’s going, he’ll go to the World Cup,” Devine told SENZ’s The Rugby Run.

“Tick that, so you’ve got two left. I think the best two halfbacks in the country right now are probably him and Christie and Weber’s there or thereabouts.

“You’ve definitely got three that are vying for those two spots (so) unless there’s an injury it’s going to be tight.

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“I like Finlay and then the third spot at this stage, I’d probably take Weber. Not because of anything other (than that) he’s a little but more experienced and sometimes that’s what you need in those World Cup finals.

“If you get an injury up there then you’re going to need some experience, especially with the quarter-final, semi-final run the All Blacks may have or may not have.

“They’re basically going to have to do three finals in a row to make the final.”

The All Blacks have been drawn in Pool A along with hosts and tournament favourites France.

Les Bleus will look to hand the All Blacks their first pool loss in World Cup history in September when they meet in the tournament opener in Paris.

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Comments

7 Comments
R
Ruby 449 days ago

Aaron had one good game last year across Super Rugby and Test Rugby. As it stands Weber is the form Scrumhalf, followed by Roigard.

Fakatava will be in the mix in 2024 but his cameo appearances last year show that they don't think he's ready.

It remains to be seen how TJ's recovery will go and whether or not he'll be able to earn a spot with his remaining time, he's pretty much the sole reason we didn't lose to Scotland last year, Finlay clearly wasn't ready and TJ really steadied the ship, something that uninformed fans forgot or just never noticed.

Going off last year and this year's form if everyone was healthy the 3 going would be Brad Weber, Cam Roigard and TJ Perenara. I know that this won't happen because even though he only played well once in 20+ games Aaron Smith will be wearing the 9 jersey. As far as Christie goes I don't see much point persisting, he was okay in 2021.

A
Andrew 449 days ago

Christie's not shown test temperament. After Smith and Webber its one or other of Roigard or Ratima for me.

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