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 McAlister Cleared for Juniors

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 5:15 am

The New Zealand Rugby Union has had a dollar each way on the contentious issue of Luke McAlister's All Black eligibility, clearing the way for the returning backline star to return for the Tri-Nations.

With the 25-year-old former All Black utility back returning to New Zealand in May once he finishes his commitments with Sale in England, there had been some pressure on the NZRU to grant him an exemption from current regulations that require him to have played in a New Zealand "domestic" competition prior to national selection.

The All Blacks coaches were keen for McAlister to be available immediately, especially with the injury-enforced absence of Dan Carter from the upcoming campaign.

But today the NZRU has granted what might be termed a "mid-level" exemption for the 22-test backline star which will initially see him eligible only for selection for the Junior All Blacks.

However, the board said he would then be eligible for the full All Blacks squad for the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament. But he can only come in for the Iveco Series (against Italy and France) if injury ruled out any of the current contenders.

This gives the All Blacks coaches a valuable backup option should likely No 10 Stephen Donald go down with injury.

It's possible that they could use all-rounder Piri Weepu as Donald's backup at first five, or bring in a younger backup like Stephen Brett of the Crusaders.
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40/20
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 7:41 am

Haha bureaucratic manouvering at its best. Well done NZRU...

Not a bad solution I reckon, the guys that stayed loyal (Nonu, Smith etc) get first dibs at holding onto their spots but McAlister remains available to help out if required.

Best of both worlds. Normally I cant stand compromises but this one seems pretty smart.
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kiwikid33
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 7:43 am

I think he should have to play a few games somewhere before playing for the AB's so if this is the best solution then all good.

No way should he be able to come in and go straight into the All Blacks what sort of message would that have sent out.
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 8:00 am

And considering there were no solid options at 12, even for the ABs (other than the likes of Toeava)
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mania
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeThu Apr 23, 2009 10:05 pm

40/20 wrote:
Best of both worlds. Normally I cant stand compromises but this one seems pretty smart.

kk33 wrote:
No way should he be able to come in and go straight into the All Blacks what sort of message would that have sent out.

gotta agree. real smart compromise. tho would of preferred mcalistair to play ANZC first to see if he's got the goods still. i was against him going straight into triNations -> ABs without proving himself but this is a good middle road.

also, piri will get picked as a backup 10/9 which is good for him cos he doesnt deserve to be dropped jus cos he's been plugging the canes 10 drain
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Ruggerhead
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeFri Apr 24, 2009 12:02 am

McAlister has been playing centre mostly for Sale anyway so if he is to come back and play 10 then he needs to prove himself in that position first.

I can't see him getting into the 13 jersey at the moment with Smith playing so well.
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeFri Apr 24, 2009 5:45 am

Thats good news, id like to see how hes going!
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40/20
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeFri Apr 24, 2009 7:10 am

samthaman15 wrote:
Thats good news, id like to see how hes going!

We'll get to see him play 2 Barbarians games before he comes home.

The second one is at the SFS against the Wallabies on June 6 - the same one Sonny Bill has been selected for.

Yep, think I'll be tuning into that one....
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeFri Apr 24, 2009 7:21 am

Damn that should be a good game Smile
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeFri Apr 24, 2009 7:26 am

Ohh i cant wait, i hope its on sky sports!
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeSun Apr 26, 2009 9:07 am

Luke McAlister has signed with North Harbour and will play for the Blues next year, ending speculation he may end up at the Hurricanes, who had made strong overtures.

Hurricanes chief executive Greg Peters was optimistic earlier last week that the franchise might snare the former All Blacks five-eighths, who is returning to New Zealand rugby after leaving in 2007.

But a watertight Sunday Star-Times source has confirmed that McAlister has already signed on the dotted line with his old union, meaning the Blues will get first call on his services.

Last week the Sunday News reported that incumbent All Blacks first five Dan Carter could himself shift to the Blues after he came off contract with Canterbury at the end of this year.

That is unlikely.

Although Carter commutes to Auckland on a regular basis to see his partner and tend to business interests, his Canterbury roots won't be easily severed.

Carter is a staunch advocate of his club at Southbridge, where his family live, and he's expected to renew his commitment to the Crusaders when he returns from Perpignan in June.

It's understood Carter may even make a rare appearance for his province during the Air New Zealand Cup as he makes his first tentative steps back from his Achilles tendon injury.

McAlister's other commitments make slim his own chances of appearing in the Air NZ Cup.

Although he is due back in the country about the same time as Carter, he has been pencilled in for the Junior All Blacks in June and then the Tri-Nations from July.

North Harbour, who already have Jimmy Gopperth on their books, have been playing their cards close to the chest in recent weeks. But they confirmed on Friday they would make an announcement on McAlister's future within a week.

Harbour is understood to have been waiting for the New Zealand Rugby Union board to decide his All Blacks eligibility status, which they did last week.

Now that Graham Henry has been given the green light to pick him, Harbour will get 75% of McAlister's contract reimbursed by the NZRU, which agreed late last year to compensate provincial unions who were unable to select their All Blacks.

In an oddity unique to New Zealand rugby, most of our top players are contracted by the the NZRU, and the provincial union they are associated with, even though most rarely play for their provinces.

That second contract has been a major drain on provinces' resources. But it does have one important function: in effect it dictates which Super rugby franchise each player is eligible for. Collectively, these contracts are worth millions of dollars.

Host Super rugby franchises use the provincial contracts to lock in players for the Super 14 Air New Zealand Cup availability is of lesser importance.

That's led to accusations of exploitation by unions who don't host Super rugby sides, and contributed to the parlous financial state some provincial unions are in.
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeSun Apr 26, 2009 10:39 am

Will he play in the air new zealand cup?
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeSun Apr 26, 2009 11:11 am

Probably not - he'll most likely be busy with AB stuff.
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeSun Apr 26, 2009 11:18 am

Do you mean junior ABs?
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeSun Apr 26, 2009 11:19 am

No - he should be joining the ABs come 3N time.
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeSun Apr 26, 2009 11:42 am

Ohh i didnt think hed be aloud?
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeMon Apr 27, 2009 1:11 am

His playing for the Juniors is being used as an alternative to playing Super 14 / NPC. I don't know the exact time-tables, but I'm pretty sure once the Pacific Nations Cup is done he'll be free to join the ABs, barring injury pulling him through first...
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeMon Apr 27, 2009 8:00 am

Oh yeaa, do you think he'l start>?
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeMon Apr 27, 2009 8:04 am

Probably - unless they really make him work for it by benching him first up...
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeMon Apr 27, 2009 8:05 am

Ohkk, and he'll play first five ae
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: McAlister Cleared for Juniors   McAlister Cleared for Juniors Icon_minitimeMon Apr 27, 2009 9:13 am

that or 2nd 5 - depends on who else is in the squad I guess. I reckon more likely 2nd 5 cause there aren't many other quality options there - while someone like Ripia, Bowden or Brett should start at 10.
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