Trevor Allan (34)
I’d want to have Frost & Phillip before Arnold, it would be great to have Ikitau back in his injury was 6-8 weeks and it’s been about that so hopefully he’s back soonLike any good coach, Eddie will have a plan on how he wants selection to go over the tournament. Like any war, plans have to change as soon as contact with the enemy occurs, but making the plan informs your strategy and individual tactics, training intensity day to day, injury rehab etc.
Here's my guess at what Eddie will do based on his overall reads on players so far:
Position vs Georgia vs Fiji vs Wales vs Portugal Team for the finals 5:3 6:2 6:2 5:3 6:2 Loose head Bell Bell Bell Slipper Bell Hooker Porecki Porecki Porecki Faessler Porecki Tight head Tupou Tupou Tupou Fa'amausili Tupou Lock Frost Arnold Frost Philip Frost Lock Skelton Skelton Skelton Arnold Skelton Blindside Leota Hooper Hooper Leota Hooper Open side McReight McReight McReight Kemeny McReight Number Eight Valetini Valetini Valetini Gleeson Valetini Finishing hooker Uelese Faessler Faessler Uelese Faessler Finishing loose head Slipper Slipper Slipper Schoup Slipper Finishing tight head Fa'amausili Fa'amausili Fa'amusili Nonggorr Fa'amausili Finishing lock Arnold Frost Arnold Arnold Arnold Finishing lock/backrow Leota Leota Frost Leota Finishing backrow Gleeson Gleeson Gleeson Gleeson Half White McDermott McDermott Fines-Leleiwasa McDermott Five-eighth Gordon Gordon Gordon Donaldson Gordon Blind winger Korobeite Korobeite Korobeite Vunivalu Korobeite Inside centre Foketi Kerevi Kerevi Foketi Kerevi Outside centre Petaia Petaia Petaia Petaia/Ikitau Ikitau Outside wing Vunivalu Nawaqanitawase Nawaqanitawase Nawaqanitawase Nawaqanitawase Fullback Kellaway Kellaway Kellaway Jorgensen Kellaway Finishing halfback McDermott White White White White Finishing backs Kerevi/Donaldson Donaldson Donaldson Ikitau/Petaia Petaia
I think using 6:2 in the important games allows us to shore up our deficiencies, which are likely to be in the forwards. Injury disasters are more easily fixed by shuffling the backs.
I am assuming we will lose one player over the tournament. Ikitau should be the automatic replacement unless we have to replace Gordon, in which case it has to be Foley. My reason for saying that is that Ikitau is one of the automatic picks in the team if fit. In another three weeks he should be good to go. In the finals, that leaves Petaia as supersub - he would go to fullback and Kellaway to five-eighth in case Gordon gets an in-game knock.