New Zealand preparing for a huge year in Rugby17:56:00, Wed 4 Feb 2015 Kirstie Nisbett
The Investec Super Rugby competition isn't far away with the first match next Friday 13th in Christchurch when the Crusaders host the Rebels. This is just the begining of what will be a huge year for rugby not only in New Zealand, but across the rugby world.
As the Super Rugby teams prepare for their local derby battles and taking on the best of Australia and South Africa, the All Black selectors also have a major task as they carefully analyse and ultimately select their squad of 31 for Rugby World Cup. There is a strong suggestion there will be a 17/14 split, 17 forwards and 14 backs and versatility will be a significant key to selection. Part of that process will be a review from previous World Cups to ensure the best and most versatile players will be able to cover injuries if the unthinkable, yet inevitable, was to happen.
Investec Super Rugby is without doubt the world’s best inter-provincial rugby competition and in order to be selected as one of the 31 All Blacks to head to England in September, there is much to prove and leave on the field to ensure selection for the “Big Dance “. It will give the players the perfect opportunity, and the high-class competition, that will adequately prepare them to push for their spot on the national stage while competing with the best players in the Southern Hemisphere. By the end of an exhausting Super Rugby competition, the All Black selectors will be well armed with their short list of players for the defence of rugby’s biggest prize.