Ro­ta­tion Lite

NZ Rugby World - - 2017 The Year In Review -

In 2016, the All Blacks were dead on their feet by the time they played their fi­nal test in Paris. They were lucky to win – as they had been the week be­fore in Dublin.

They had so lit­tle left in the tank be­cause so many of the team had given so much. If Beau­den Bar­rett hadn’t pulled off a mag­i­cal in­ter­cept on his goalline at Stade Fran­cais and gone the length of the field to score, the All Blacks may have lost.

So it was with that in mind that the All Blacks’ coach­ing team de­cided they had to pre-empt the in­evitable fa­tigue and try to avoid it. The plan they hatched was to not take all their big guns to Ar­gentina for the Rugby Cham­pi­onship and in­stead, Sam Cane, Sam White­lock, Brodie Re­tal­lick, Liam Squire and Ryan Crotty flew straight to South Africa.

It was a good plan – the All Blacks won in Ar­gentina and then again in South Africa a week later, and they had given a hand­ful of key men some space to have en­ergy come the fi­nal weeks of the Euro­pean tour.

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