Connect with us

Super Rugby

Jordie Barrett’s Best Position Is Inside Centre

Published

on

Jordie Barrett may only be 21 years old, but is already an incredibly versatile player. The six foot five Taranaki man played most of his Super Rugby at full-back, but also made appearances at inside and outside centre, and out-half, and on one occasion, a lineout.

Embed from Getty Images

he question is, where does he fit in to Steve Hansen’s plans? He has made all bar one of his appearances in black at 15, save for a four try outing against Italy on the right wing.  

New Zealand are not short of options in the back three. The ever dependable Ben Smith is back on great form, Rieko Ioane and Waisake Naholo are flying on the wings and Damian McKenzie always brings great impact off the bench. George Bridge finally got his chance against Japan and took it with both hands. Then there’s the uncapped players, like Ben Lam, or Solomon Alaimalo. David Havili even may yet make a comeback, after struggling for form this year.

Embed from Getty Images

Centre, however there may be more of an opening. Jordie has been criticised for his defence at full-back in the past. He doesn’t have the pace that a lot of his competition do, and his decision making has let him down in the past (see the New Zealand loss to South Africa in this year’s Rugby Championship for an example). At 12, he wouldn’t be as exposed like he would be at  full-back. Barrett has played a lot of his rugby at inside centre, and regularly stood at first receiver for the Hurricanes.

Embed from Getty Images

He is a different style of centre to the hard-hitting style of Ngani Laumape, or Sonny Bill Williams, but he also has the size to pull it off, given he’s taller than his second row brother. A Barrett 10-12 axis, or a Mo’unga-Barrett 10-12 combo is a very appealing proposition, and then with Damian McKenzie, or even Beauden at full-back, you have a squad laden with playmakers. Jordie has played both centre positions for the Hurricanes, but when it comes to international, the 12 jersey is the one he should set his sights on. Out of the midfield backs in the current likely to play on past 2019 (Ngani Laumape, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert Brown) there is only one natural 12(Laumape), with Goodhue and Lienert-Brown only really cover for the position.

Embed from Getty Images

While New Zealand U20s did not have a successful campaign in 2016, Jordie Barrett was a high point. Playing at inside centre he scored 52 points (one try) showing his goal kicking talent. The younger Barrett also frequently took over kicking duties for the Hurricanes. Crucially, Jordie is very comfortable about kicking a drop-goal, something that his older brother is still a little bit hesitant about

Embed from Getty Images

As he matures as a player, and his rugby brain improves, it would not be unlikely to see him move to the midfield. New Zealand need the depth at 12. Ngani Laumape is flying, but Sonny Bill is 33 now, and there is few other big boys that can fill the Sonny Bill hit-it-up role.



Super Rugby

All Blacks halfback Folau Fakatava taking no chances in race to be fit for 2023 World Cup

Published

on

“In rugby you can’t control when you get injured,” Fakatava told Newshub. “All you can do is come back stronger.”

And with the World Cup kicking off in September, that’s exactly what the two test All Black plans to do.

Fakatava got a taste of international rugby in 2022 – he was part of the All Blacks squad all year but was limited to just two appearances off the bench before his season ended.

“I was really hurt when I heard I’d torn my ACL,” he continued. “But at the same time, you really can’t do anything about it.”

But as Fakatava chases one of three halfback spots in Ian Foster’s World Cup squad, he’s taken matters into his own hands.

“I’ve decided not to do the surgery,” he revealed. “My goal this year is to be back out there for the World Cup.”

A third ACL surgery would’ve ruled him out of contention for France, as a conversation with the All Blacks doctor James McGarvey reassured Fakatava avoiding surgery could work.

“He had a look at my other knee, and found out there’s no ACL in that. 

“That gave me confidence to hopefully do that with my other one.”

There are protections in place to ensure Fakatava is back on the field as close to the start of Super Rugby as possible.

Content & Images from – Highlanders Rugby


Continue Reading

Super Rugby

Reds, Wild Knights partnership continues to provide opportunities for Queensland Rugby

Published

on

The Queensland’s Reds’ partnership with the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights continues to reap benefits, with Buildcorp Reds Academy Ryan Schultz travelling to Japan to undertake professional development under Wild Knights coach Robbie Deans.

Schultz, who coaches Queensland’s U18 side and the Anglican Church Grammar School First XV outfit, spent 11-days immersed in the League One program, learning directly from Deans and his coaching group in Saitama.

Schultz was a part of two game days and a full training week, a unique and exclusive opportunity made possible by Queensland’s relationship with their sister-state club.

“I was fully immersed in their training week,” Schultz said. 

“I was involved in coaching meetings, player meetings, leadership meetings and their training sessions.

“Luckily enough they had a B’s game on the Saturday, followed by Sunday where they played Toyota Verblitz so I got that full week experience of game to game.”

Schultz relished the opportunity to learn from Deans, who has delivered the Wild Knights five premierships in his eight-year tenure.

“It was awesome to be able to see Robbie Deans as a head coach and leader,” Schultz said.

“Seeing him operate behind the scenes, in the meeting rooms with coaches and players, and then on the training paddock was awesome.

“He’s been there for eight seasons so it’s a really well-established program and a real player-led environment.

“The field belongs to the players, so it was really good to see that in real-time and then how that’s developed away from the training paddock.”

Now back in Australia, Schultz will bring his learnings to Queensland’s next generation of Reds with his role as head coach of the Reds U18s and Tier 2 Academy squad.

From the attacking focus of the Japanese game, to Deans’ emphasis on core skills, Schultz has returned from his trip as a better coach.

“Robbie has a big philosophy around accuracy coming first – that technical skill development,” Schultz said.

“Being able to execute skills under pressure is a big thing, so I think how we develop that in our training programs at the Reds will be really important.

“At the moment we’re focusing a lot on technical skill development, so it really reinforced what we’ve been planning and implementing here.

“Japan play exciting, attacking footy over there, there’s a lot less focus on kicking and more around attack.

“I was able to pick up a lot of detail around the attacking part of the game and the skillset.

Following Queensland’s inaugural tour to Japan last October, Schultz’s visit is another example of the partnership paying dividends for Queensland Rugby.

“It’s an awesome partnership,” Schultz said.

“I know the Reds squad really enjoyed their tour on November and being there and talking to the Panasonic staff about it, it was really beneficial to them.

“To be able to over and learn and grow, and then bring that back to our Academy is really exciting.”

Content & Images from – Queensland Reds Rugby


Continue Reading

Super Rugby

Former English International to join the Highlanders

Published

on

English first-five Freddie Burns will join the Highlanders for the 2023 edition of DHL Super Rugby Pacific. Burns, currently playing for Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership has agreed terms with the Highlanders, and with the support of Leicester, will land in New Zealand prior to the first round.

The 32-year-old Burns will bring with him a wealth of experience having started his first-class career with Gloucester back in 2010. His first turn at Leicester was between 2014-2017 before three seasons with Bath and Burns has over 200 appearances in the Premiership to his name. In 2021 he had a short sojourn in Japan before returning to Leicester for the 2022 season.

A former England U20 representative he represented the senior side five times most notably debuting against the All Blacks in 2012, replacing Owen Farrell, in their 38-21 victory.

A prolific goal kicker and tactically sound first-five, who can also play fullback, he was the toast of Leicester when he dropkicked the winning goal for the Tigers against Saracens in the 2022 Gallagher Premiership final.

Burns is looking forward to the experience.

“As a young lad I grew up watching Super rugby in the early hours of morning. To have the opportunity to represent such a prestigious club as the Highlanders in the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season is a huge honour. I look forward to getting started and adding to the group both on and off the field”

Highlanders Head Coach Clarke Dermody has welcomed the arrival of the experienced playmaker.

“Having a player of Freddie’s calibre available to us in such a crucial position is a real boost for the squad. Last year we were exposed at 10 due to a run of injuries and while we covered the situation, we were asking a lot of Sam Gilbert and Vili Koroi who are not regular starting first-fives. Freddie’s arrival will provide us with that extra insurance against that scenario playing out again in 2023”.

Burns will be the second international back to be added to Dermody’s 2023 squad with Argentinian outside back Martin Bogado also set to play in Highlanders colours.

 

ENDS

Content & Images from – Highlanders Rugby


Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending