Heads from the haka
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.