December 10, 2023

Former All Black names his three NZ halfbacks for RWC

Former All Black names his three NZ halfbacks for RWC

With this year’s Rugby World Cup less than six months away, former All Black Steve Devine has named the three New Zealand halfbacks he believes should go to France.

Throughout the opening four rounds of this year’s Super Rugby Pacific season, some veterans and future stars have taken the competition by storm.

If it wasn’t clear already, it certainly is now – New Zealand has some world-class talent at halfback.

But the maths just doesn’t add up. Only three of them can go to France.

All Blacks veteran Aaron Smith is seemingly the only certainly to go to this year’s tournament, while a handful of players continue to battle it out for the other two spots.

Finlay Christie and Folau Fakatava were picked in the All Blacks’ first Test squad of 2022, while Brad Weber and TJ Perenara returned to the international arena during the Autumn Nations Series.

Hurricanes halfback Cam Roigard has also emerged as a potential World Cup bolter following an outstanding month of Super Rugby.

But, again, they can’t all make the All Blacks’ World Cup squad.

Former All Blacks halfback Steve Devine has named the three players he believes should go to this year’s World Cup.

“I think right now as it stands, Aaron Smith’s going, he’ll go to the World Cup,” Devine told SENZ’s The Rugby Run.

“Tick that, so you’ve got two left. I think the best two halfbacks in the country right now are probably him and Christie and Weber’s there or thereabouts.

“You’ve definitely got three that are vying for those two spots (so) unless there’s an injury it’s going to be tight.

“I like Finlay and then the third spot at this stage, I’d probably take Weber. Not because of anything other (than that) he’s a little but more experienced and sometimes that’s what you need in those World Cup finals.

“If you get an injury up there then you’re going to need some experience, especially with the quarter-final, semi-final run the All Blacks may have or may not have.

“They’re basically going to have to do three finals in a row to make the final.”

The All Blacks have been drawn in Pool A along with hosts and tournament favourites France.

Les Bleus will look to hand the All Blacks their first pool loss in World Cup history in September when they meet in the tournament opener in Paris.

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