A 40-question survey conducted by Country Sport Breakfast producer Sam Casey has offered an insight into the real opinions New Zealand’s Super Rugby players – and the results of the first question could ruffle some feathers at New Zealand Rugby.
Casey says he conducted the poll with “over 100 players” that ranged from senior All Blacks to Super Rugby newcomers, asking them 40 questions about the state of NZ rugby.
The anonymous polling was done during the period of March-June this year, and included at least 15 players from every Kiwi Super Rugby franchise.
The first question asked was: “Did the NZRU get it right with their All Black coaching group?”
The results revealed that, of the players polled, the majority weren’t happy with who NZ Rugby picked in the current All Blacks coaching setup.
Almost half (46 per cent) said they believed NZ Rugby didn’t get the decision right, while 26 per cent said they were “happy with Ian Foster but not the assistant coaches”.
Only 28 per cent of the players polled agreed with NZ Rugby’s decision.
The bombshell results mirror the opinions of some fans who believed Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, who led his team to three-straight Super Rugby titles, deserved to succeed Steve Hansen as All Blacks head coach instead of Foster.
The Country Sport Breakfast, which airs weekdays 6am to 9am on Gold, will roll out the results of the rest of the poll over throughout the week.
Some of the other surprising poll results include:
Who is the best player in NZ rugby?
Beauden Barrett: 40 per cent
Ardie Savea: 20 per cent
Brodie Retallick: 12 per cent
Eight others: 28 per cent
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 5, 2020
Who is the best player 23 years of age or under in NZ rugby?
Jordie Barrett: 33 per cent
Will Jordan: 22 per cent
Luke Jacobson: 14 per cent
Sevu Reece: 14 per cent
Six others: 17 per cent
Who is the best first five in NZ rugby?
Beauden Barrett: 58 per cent
Richie Mo’unga: 32 per cent
Aaron Cruden: 9 per cent
One other: 1 per cent
Who is the best winger in NZ rugby?
George Bridge: 46 per cent
Sevu Reece: 21 per cent
Rieko Ioane: 13 per cent
Ben Lam: 11 per cent
Four others: 9 per cent
Who is the best midfielder in NZ rugby?
Anton Lienert-Brown: 66 per cent
Jack Goodhue: 21 per cent
Ngani Laumape: 11 per cent
Two others: 3 per cent
Who is the best fullback in NZ rugby?
Damian McKenzie: 47 per cent
Jordie Barrett: 25 per cent
David Havili: 18 per cent
Beauden Barrett: 10 per cent
Two minutes to go, down 4, need to score a try. Whose hands do you want the ball in?
Damian McKenzie: 30 per cent
Beauden Barrett: 24 per cent
Richie Mo’unga: 10 per cent
17 others: 46 per cent
Who will be the next breakout star and make the All Blacks?
Cullen Grace: 17 per cent
Hoskins Sotutu: 14 per cent
Mark Telea: 12 per cent
27 others: 53 per cent
Who is the best professional coach you’ve had?
Tony Brown: 17 per cent
Scott Robertson: 16 per cent
Dave Rennie: 9 per cent
Warren Gatland: 9 per cent
Jason Holland: 9 per cent
16 others: 40 per cent
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