NZ Rugby World
FIVE POSSIBLE UNEXPECTED STARS
1 : JACOB RATUMAITAVUKI-KNEEPKENS
This guy has real pace and an ability to pop up in the right place at the right time. Could do well on the end of a backline that has sharp passing and good movement.
The question is whether he can break into the starting team ahead of Caleb Clarke and Mark Telea among others.
2 : XAVIER ROE
He’s not going to get much game time ahead of Brad Weber but we are picking this youngster is going to catch the eye.
He’s got plenty of attitude and verve and he doesn’t seem the sort of player that is ever going to die wondering. A typical, feisty halfback…you have to love that.
3 : SALESI RAYASI [HURRICANES]
It’s hard to know how involved he’s going to be given the uncertain state of the sevens game and the unknown about whether the Olympics are happening or not.
But if he plays, we are backing him to score a few spectacular tries and provide a sharp reminder that he’s a player with serious x-factor.
4 : DALLAS MCLEOD
Enjoyed a few moments last year and he’s a big, powerful man. With Braydon Ennor still recovering there is a hole in the Crusaders’ midfield and he might just be the man to fill it.
Seems like he’s direct and confrontational with a few other skills as well.
5 : MAANAKI SELBYRICKIT
This guy started to catch everyone’s attention towards the end of last year’s campaign.
He’s a bit skinny, but he gets around, is abrasive and wants to hurt people in the right way. Should get a bit more game time this year and we expect him to mature and grow into quite a considerable force at lock.