Beauden Barrett This is another glamorous ingredient!!
OPINION:Hindsight is a wonderful thing the saying goes – here it comes in Specsavers spades with the benefit of watching England take the All Blacks apart: this team is better suited to knockout rugby than the one in the Rugby World Cup semifinal.
It’s a view not shared byStuffcorrespondent Marc Hinton on the ground in Japan, who said “no sane person would have picked this team to start v England”.
He is usually right, but there appear to be some areas where the All Blacks might have fared better against the cunning and power of the Eddie Jones-coached squad.
Outmuscled both back and forward by England, the team Steve Hansen named on Wednesday to play Wales has more knockout experience overall. It arguably has more players who have proven they know how to win when it matters.
Let’s pinpoint hooker, where Dane Coles comes in for Codie Taylor, who is rested; loose forward where Sam Cane starts and Scott Barrett moves to lock for Sam Whitelock; and the midfield where Sonny Bill Williams starts with Ryan Crotty.
On the wings, George Bridge and Sevu Reece are nowhere to be found in the 23, with never-let-you-down stalwart Ben Smith and out-of-favour youngster Rieko Ioane in 14 and 11 respectively.
With Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett still steering the ship torpedoed by England around, a crucial factor will be is the game plan more effective against W
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