Heads from the haka

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport / Rugby Union - Karl Tu’inukuafe Codie Tay­lor Owen Franks Sam White­lock Brodie Re­tal­lick Liam Squire Ardie Savea Kieran Read

It is a shame for Joe Moody that he has been ruled out with in­jury but I am ex­cited to see what Karl can bring to the ta­ble. Only 25, he has had a me­te­oric rise since be­ing spot­ted play­ing pro­vin­cial rugby for North Har­bour last year.

Codie de­serves to start hav­ing re­ally stepped up in Dane Coles’s ab­sence. But hav­ing Coles on the bench … what a player to bring on in the last 20 min­utes. He will be run­ning around like a mad­man! Prob­a­bly the most pro­fes­sional footy player the All Blacks have had. I heard he drank a pro­tein shake at his own wed­ding to make sure he kept his weight up.

Rangy, mo­bile lock. Forms an un­be­liev­able lock­ing part­ner­ship with Brodie Re­tal­lick. They re­ally keep the en­gine room tick­ing over.

An­other freak of na­ture, in the nicest pos­si­ble sense. Brodie (left) is 6ft 8in but can run all day, has a turn of pace, and can pick a ball off his an­kles.

This guy is an ab­so­lute mon­ster. In ev­ery sense. He is a beast phys­i­cally but also plays the game right on the edge. Loves the con­tact. Not afraid to put his body on the line.

Since be­ing given his op­por­tu­nity he has not put a foot wrong.

I am ex­pect­ing big things from Ardie this week.

Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic. Calm un­der pres­sure. In­spi­ra­tional. You now what you are go­ing to get from Kieran (left) week in week out. He will get the job done to­mor­row, I would say. I can­not wait. With Wasps play­ing on Sun­day, I am go­ing along as a fan to watch the boys.

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