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Power Ranking the All Blacks based on Lima Sopoaga anecdotes

Former All Black and current Wasps first-five eighth Lima Sopoaga recently gave The Daily Mail the inside word on Steve Hansen’s starting side to face England this weekend.

Sopoaga, a 16-Test veteran, delivered a handful of anecdotes about each player in the lineup. Naturally, we decided to rank everyone based on his assessment.

15. Rieko Ioane

Coming in at number 15, the bottom spot, is star winger Rieko Ioane. According to Sopoaga, Ioane likes to call himself ‘Swaggy Reeks’. The only thing that ‘reeks’ is that nickname.

Even worse, it’s self-appointed, which is breaking the nickname law.

14. Sonny Bill Williams

Sopoaga states that he used to skip school just to watch highlight tapes of mercurial midfielder Sonny Bill Williams.

Attending school is a legal requirement in New Zealand, so anyone instigating truancy needs to slip down our rankings.

13. Damian McKenzie

The All Blacks’ electrifying fullback ‘loves Fortnite’, but sounds too emotionally invested in the video game. He can’t handle Brodie Retallick and Liam Squire turning off the TV or ‘he’ll get all sad about it!’. Tough look for the youngster.

12. Aaron Smith

It sounds like Aaron Smith spends a fair bit of time ‘taking the L’ in popular video game Fortnite. He comes in just ahead of Damian McKenzie, who is reportedly good at Fortnite.

11. Ben Smith

Sopoaga doesn’t rate Ben Smith’s golf swing, which means I can’t rate him very highly here. There are 12 Ben Smiths registered with New Zealand Golf and the lowest handicap any of them play off is a 15.4, so there is no evidence to refute Sopoaga’s claim.

 

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Hacking our way around @steyncity_golf ??

A post shared by Ben Smith (@bensmith1100) on

10. Codie Taylor

Sopoaga made note of Taylor’s ‘bromance’ with All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo. What is it with hookers thinking they are wingers?

9. Sam Whitelock

Whitelock’s assessment is pretty cut and dry. The man loves hunting and fishing, which perfectly matches his primitive on-field style and love for all the dirty work.

8. Ardie Savea

Ardie Savea ‘thinks he’s the Russell Westbrook of rugby’. Wins points for bringing back the turtleneck.

 

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7. Jack Goodhue

Word that Goodhue missed a training camp to help milk cows is a fantastic call to All Blacks past. Stan Meads must be proud.

6. Owen Franks

The 104 Test prop brought a protein shake to his own wedding to ensure he didn’t get ‘hangry’. Power move.

5. Karl Tuinukuafe

Tu’inukuafe’s upper lip gets all the respect here. As Sopoaga said, ‘nice moustache’. Perhaps one of the best in All Black history.

4. Beauden Barrett

According to Sopoaga, Barrett should have his PGA tour card and be duking it out with Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka. He is ‘the man’.

3. Kieran Read

Captain Kieran reportedly spends a lot of time playing cards in hotel lobbies while relaxing. The last time I heard about professional athletes playing cards, Michael Jordan was on a plane and stakes were higher than the altitude. I’m going to imagine it’s the same type of deal with the All Blacks.

2. Brodie Retallick

Sopoaga credits the big lock for starting the All Blacks’ mullet movement.

What else is left to say. Mullets are officially BACK.

1. Liam Squire

Sopoaga’s anecdote about his former Highlanders teammate instantly shot the loose forward to the top of the rankings.

 

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Pine swine ???

A post shared by liamsquire (@liamsquire) on

Another big hunting advocate, 39% of his Instagram posts include a dead pig (I did the math). But in the end all it took was seven magical words to seal Squire’s spot at the top of the rankings. ‘Always hooks the boys up with roasts.’

The Sultan of Swine, he’ll always have a place in my team.

In other news:

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Power Ranking the All Blacks based on Lima Sopoaga anecdotes | RugbyPass