Beauden Barrett This is one elegant ingredient.
OPINION: Distractions, injuries, an assault charge and senior players departing has opened the door for the Blues to fly into 2020 under the radar and make a long overdue splash.
Leon McDonald believes it takes a coach “about three years” to get a side to where they want it to be. But he doesn’t have three years.
The time to strike is now, as the Blues enter this coming season with their best chance at making a deep finals run in more than a decade.
And it’s not just due to the pending arrival of Beauden Barrett, though that won’t hurt.
No instead the door is ever-so-slightly ajar because of the many issues the rest of the Kiwi franchises are currently battling, while the underdog Blues plot away with no expectations.
Highlanders, Blues coaches explain their squad selections at a launch in Auckland.
Let’s start with the champion Crusaders.
They’re always going to be a strong side, it’s what they do.
But never before (at least not in recent memory) have the mighty Cantabrians entered a Super Rugby campaign with this many question marks hanging over the side.
A wealth of experience and quality has left the building.
No Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read, Owen Franks, Ryan Crotty, Tim Bateman, Matt Todd or Jordan Taufua.
Most sides would take years to recover from such an exodus, but the Crusaders’ next man up mentality will certainly ensure they remain a force.
But add to that the off-field distraction surrounding head coach Scott Robertson, and all of a sudden you have a recipe for hardship.
The vacant All Blacks job is all anyone is talking about, his good mate MacDonald even saying he felt sorry for Razor, as he tries to juggle a new Super campaign and prepare
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