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 McAlister Returning Home

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Where would you play McAlister if he is back in time for the June Tests?
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Bench cover for 10 and/or 12
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Wider Training Group for extra cover
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He should play in an NZ team first!
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Don't play him at all
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Who's Luke McAlister??
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Total Votes : 7
 

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 12:24 am

RugbyHeaven.co.nz wrote:
Former All Blacks star Luke McAlister is to return to New Zealand and has signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union through until 2012, easing a significant problem area for national coach Graham Henry.

McAlister, who left New Zealand rugby at the end of 2007 to play for English club Sale, will return to New Zealand at the end of the English Premiership season in May.

With star first five-eighths Dan Carter injured and a lack of depth at No 12, McAlister's return gives Henry a player who can help cover both positions.

He would need a special dispensation to play for the All Blacks in June and don't discount that given the current circumstances.

Commenting from his home base in Manchester, McAlister said he was looking forward to coming home.

"The simple reason why I am leaving England and heading home is because I want to be closer to my family who are very important to me," said McAlister.

"The fact that I can continue my rugby career as well back in New Zealand is obviously fantastic as well and I appreciate being given the opportunity, but family comes first."

McAlister, who is currently recovering from a knee operation, said he felt he had developed as both a person and rugby player in England and was hoping to leave English club rugby on a high.

"We have a chance of having a crack at the top four (in the Premiership) and hopefully we can give the local fans, who have been great to me, a great end to the season."

NZRU CEO Steve Tew said the NZRU negotiations with McAlister had stepped up over the last two weeks and the deal had only been finalised in the last 24 hours.

"This is very good news coming on the back of yesterday's announcement that we have re-signed Brendon Leonard, Andy Ellis and Stephen Brett.

"As all New Zealand and English rugby fans know, Luke is an incredibly talented rugby player and we are delighted that he has chosen to return home."

Mr Tew said while McAlister had signed with the NZRU, he was yet to decide on his provincial or Rebel Sport Super 14 future and would discuss that on his return to New Zealand.

The 25-year-old McAlister is one of the most versatile backs in the modern game who can play first five-eighth, second five-eight or centre and brings outstanding kicking skills to his game.

He made his All Blacks debut in 2005 in the third test against the touring British & Irish Lions and went on to play 22 Tests, scoring 120 points, before heading to Europe at the end of 2007.
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KromyD
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 12:32 am

Sweet, always liked McAlister, alot of ppl thought he was over rated but i hope he carves up for the AB's in the tri-nations.
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 12:43 am

Where would you like to see him played Kromy?
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kiwikid33
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 1:07 am

I hope he comes back to Harbour and doesnt head off to auckland.

His best postion i think is Second Five but he can be a short term replacement for carter at 10. So long term i expect to see him coming off the bench for the AB'S with Nonu and Carter starting.
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 1:18 am

Now here's a question - what would your AB's FULL backs squad be? (9 - 15, and 20 - 22)

9. Cowan
10. Carter
11. Rokocoko
12. Nonu
13. Smith
14. Gear
15. Muliaina

20. Weepu
21. McAlister
22. Jane

Tough luck for:
Sivivatu - he hasn't shown the goods for me in a long time
Kahui - McAlister's better cover for the centres (Nonu, Smith, and McAlister can all handle 12 and 13, as can Mils) and Jane is better cover for the outside 3

Plenty of others, and an obvious Canes bias from me Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 1:46 am

i think i agree with that 100% pantherus

my only bit i would add is a bolter - Ranger for the number 14 jersey although still early days for him and i havent been 100% convinced on gear at the top level yet although i would rate him higher than sivivatu
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 1:48 am

Ranger has certainly shown the goods and could well push his way in - time will tell Smile
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KromyD
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 2:34 am

Hmm kinda similar to your guys team, but i really rate Kahui so i'd have him in there somewhere.

9. Cowan
10. Carter
11. Rokocoko
12. Nonu
13. Smith
14. Sivivatu
15. Muliaina

20. Weepu
21. McAlister
22. Kahui

- I know Jane is probably good because of his versatility but im a fan of Kahui so if Milz was to get injured, i'd put sivivatu at FB and put Kahui on the wing.
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 5:53 am

Id have him plaing first 5 till carter comes back
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 5:58 am

samthaman15 wrote:
Id have him plaing first 5 till carter comes back

Then what?
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeFri Feb 27, 2009 10:50 am

Tri-Nations:

9. Leonard
10. McAlister
11. Sivivatu
12. Nonu
13. Smith
14. Rokococo
15. Muliana

20. Weepu
21. Kahui
22. MacDonald/Jane (Depends on fitness)


After Tri Nations

9. Leonard
10. Carter
11. Nonu
12. McAlister
13. Smith
14. Rokococo
15. Muliana

20. Cowan
21. Kahui
22. Macdonald


Just my opinion, most people will probably disagree
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeSat Feb 28, 2009 12:08 am

I really rate Kahui so for 2010/2011 I'd like to see:

9- Leonard
10- Carter
11- Sivivatu
12- McAllister
13- Kahui
14- Rockocoko
15- Muliaina

20- Weepu/Cowan
21- Nonu
22- Toeava

I know leaving out Smith is a big call but I just think that as clever a player as he is, if McAllister returns as starting 12 (which is highly likely), you need a more forceful player at 13. The most succesful midfield combinations have usually been a mix of creativity and power (Little/Bunce, Horan/Little as examples) and McAllister/Kahui complement each other nicely imo.

Sivivatu has been quiet I know but no one has really stood up to claim his spot yet.

Toeava is the most versatile player in the country who is slowly improving with each AB campaign so should take one bench spot with Nonu as midfield/impact cover. Halfback should be any combination of these 3 depending on form.
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeSat Feb 28, 2009 3:25 am

9. P. Weepu
10. D. Carter
11. J. Rokocoko
12. L. McAlister
13. C. Smith
14. H. Gear
15. M. Muliaina

20. J. Cowan
21. M. Nonu
22. I.Toeava


With Carter, Weepu and McAlister in there our kicking game would be unbeatable. I have always liked Nonu as an impact player therefore he would be the ideal bench spot where he could replace either Centres or Wing. Toeava is very versatile can cover pretty much every position in the backs except Half Back, an ideal bench player.

Leonard, Ellis and Mathewson all have a lot of work to do before they replace either Cowan or Weepu, the modern day half back needs a solid kicking game, these 3 all lack in that area.

Carter injured I would have McAlister at 10 with Nonu starting at 12 and bring Sivivatu to the bench.

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeSat Feb 28, 2009 7:13 am

Leonard is NOT going to oust Weepu and Cowan from the starting spots - he's in the same boat as the likes of Donald and Ellis - plays well at Super level but cannot replicate that form at Test level
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeSun Mar 01, 2009 7:37 am

I didn't watch Luke while he played in northern hemisphere so i can't comment on that. However once Carters back, It's gonna be close between Nonu & McAlister if the later replicates (or exceeds) his form shown while he was in a AB jersey. They're different types of players so they both are useful in different situations. In the world cup vs the french (despite his flip flop form) we needed Nonu in that game as a impact player. We needed someone that was cappable of of busting through a seemingly impenetrable (and offside) defense. It really depends what kind of gameplan Graham Henry decides to run.
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeSun Mar 01, 2009 10:51 pm

A big factor is still combinations - this is one of the things that gave Ellis an inside running for so long for his combination with Carter.

Nonu and Smith are, quite simply, the best midfield combination in the Super 14 right now. They are both top class players in their own right, but also compliment each other so well that it is a case of the end result being worth more than the sum of its parts. There would be an argument for the likes of McAlister and Kahui to form a similar top-drawer combination, especially should more kicking be required, but blow for blow, Nonu/Smith have the edge.
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mania
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeMon Mar 02, 2009 9:03 pm

nice discussion
hers my 2 cents
for starters Jane and LeonMcDonald wouldnt get a look in. Toeava's the in form utility player, his tour of duty in SAfrica has been outstanding.

Gotta agree with 40/20 in that you cant have two playmakers or powerhouses in 12 & 13. the powerhouse does all the dirty work hard yards and the playMaker sets things up and keeps the opposition guessing (ala bunce and little). I'd have Nonu start and if Luke came on I'd move Nonu to 13 and Conrad would be benched (!!there pantherus I finally get nonu into my favoured 13 position!!). Kahui would be the biggest loss. The guys got a lot to offer but I dont feel he's really grabbed his jersey by the balls yet.

9. Weepu
10. Carter
11. Rokocoko
12. Nonu
13. Smith
14. Sivivatu/ ?Ranger?
15. Muliaina

20. Cowan
21. McAlister
22. Toeava

I wouldnt go with creasting a new combination with Luke and Kahui as thats been tried by johnHart in his day with Merhts and Marshall vs tonyBrown and kelleher and that back fired. It'd be better to get those two players to learn to work with anyone

I'd also look at ReneRanger taking over Sivivatu's spot but not this season...though in Sivivatu's defense, he played well in the weekN
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeMon Mar 02, 2009 9:30 pm

Fair points Mania - though I think there'll be a real three-way battle between Jane, Toeava and Williams for an ABs spot. I believe one of those three will get in, but not 2 or three (barring injury of course).
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kiwikid33
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeMon Mar 02, 2009 9:34 pm

Another bolter being talked about for sivivatus wing is masaga.
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeMon Mar 02, 2009 9:37 pm

Honestly? I think Masaga's overrated. He goes missing unless the rest of the backline is fronting up.
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Returning Home   McAlister Returning Home Icon_minitimeMon Mar 02, 2009 10:36 pm

Pantherus wrote:
Honestly? I think Masaga's overrated. He goes missing unless the rest of the backline is fronting up.

Yea I agree. He's good with ball in hand and obviously fun to watch but his defence is suspect and workrate off the ball not the best either.

Sivivatu may not be making the big breaks or scoring the flash tries he used to, but I"ve really been impressed with his work rate in the last couple of seasons.

Doesnt sit on his wing like he used to and he provides massive support for Mils in kick coverage at the back.
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