Brodie Retallick This is another astonishing module.
OPINION: The Rugby World Cup is done and dusted and the All Blacks have returned from Japan without the Webb Ellis Cup.
Change is in the air, with players, leaders and coaches moving on, and there is plenty to ponder on the path ahead.
Stuffrugby scribes Aaron Goile, Robert van Royen, Paul Cully and Liam Hyslop tackle the burning questions for the team, going into 2020.
* Joseph and Brown want ABs job
* Razor is ABs’ Erasmus option
* SBW’s big $10m contract
* Six Nations eye Japan – report
1. Who should be the next All Blacks coach?
Aaron Goile:Dave Rennie. Time for a fresh start, change of voice, new ideas. Happy to see the exuberance of Scott Robertson, who definitely seems to speak the players’ vocab, but Rennie’s successful record everywhere he’s gone speaks volumes – including that tick for some overseas experience – and he has the tactical nous to stay ahead of the game.
Robert van Royen: The All Blacks can’t go wrong with either Jamie Joseph, Scott Robertson or Dave Rennie in charge. But it’s time for a fresh start, which is bad news for Ian Foster.
Paul Cully: Scott Robertson. Dave Rennie is also a good candidate but NZ Rugby needs to grasp this moment for generational change.
Liam Hyslop: Scott Robertson. New blood and a new direction is needed. Robertson offers just that and has been successful in every job he’s had thus far in his coaching career.
2. And what about the new captain?
AG: Sam Cane. Despite his deal through to 2023 I have my doubts Sam Whitelock will be at the next World Cup. My longer-term pick is Luke Jacobson, but with Cane have a quality player, already with captaincy experience at Super Rugby and the top level, who can lead the side into their next Webb Ellis Cup titlt.
RVR: Sam Whitelock remains the best choice. He’s shown the captaincy only makes him better since taking over as Crusaders skipper in 2017, when he won the first of three consecutive titles.
PC: Sam Cane. He’s the right age to through to 2023.
LH: Sam Cane. Seems the obvious choice given he captained the side in Argentina this year. Sam Whitelock’s upcoming sabbatical, and the fact he’s four years older than Cane at 31, should see him ruled out.
3. Why didn’t the All Blacks win the World Cup, and what will need to be done to win it back?
AG:Quite simply, out-muscled and out-coached in one 80-minute game against some superb young fired-up England forwards. In four years’ time, who knows if rush defences will still be in vogue, but the All Blacks still look like they need work on combating that, while against some teams in particular their lineout needs to be more stable and their breakdown work more physical.
RVR: Selection uncertainty was a biggie. Steve Hansen never found his best midfield combination, and the Mo’unga-Barrett combination should have been installed much earlier. The good news for whoever replaces Hansen is they have time on their side and ample talent to pick from to start the new cycle. However, one concern is the lack of quality props coming through.
PC: Because they don’t have an elite forward pack at the moment: England and South Africa a
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