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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

 

Other Teams / Unions: The Big Black Hole


Tana Umaga might have left a bigger void than what most New Zealand fans would love to admit.

According to ex players like Sean Fitzpatrick and Zinzan Brooke, Tana’s successor to take over as captain for the All Blacks are not as clear cut as most would believe.

Both players however agree that the logical choice would be Richie McCaw, who has deputized under Tana for some time and lead the team when Graham Henry rested the legendry All Black center and captain.

“Richie McCaw is the obvious candidate to take over, as long as he doesn't get knocked unconscious too often. He has been on the end of a couple of knocks to the head and he could be in trouble if he gets any more,” Brooke told the BBC.

"But he is a great player, is very well respected and has always been a first choice."

Brooke goes on to say that he does not believe the All Black management and selectors always got it right when selecting a captain to lead the All Blacks, and that Tana was exceptional as captain in the especially in getting the best out of the Pacific Islanders who make up quite a big number within the squad.

"He [Umaga] has played a huge part in giving them their self-belief, and has a great rapport with the players with Pacific Island heritage like himself."

"A lot of them are shy and quiet and need an arm around them, and it takes a certain person to push the right buttons.

"It is important someone else carries that mantle now, and the captaincy will find the right person.

"There are certain players that it sits happily on their shoulders, and there are others like Taine Randell, with whom I never thought it did.

"The All Blacks captain needs to have the respect that Tana has.”

Fitzpatrick also has his doubts on the depth of leadership.

"The team's got huge potential in terms of depth and playing numbers, but one of the things that concerns me is the depth in leadership," said the former hooker.

"When you look past Umaga and McCaw in terms of who can captain the team, there does appear to be a void.

"I think one of the ideas behind Tana standing down now is to hopefully develop another captain before World Cup 2007 - whether it's going to be McCaw or whether it's going to be a Carl Hayman.

"I think they are going to need time at the helm, and time leading the team from the front."

All this puts the pressure firmly on the shoulders of McCaw, and it will be interesting to see how the young loose forward responds.

Source: http://www.rugbyrugby.com
Comments:
It will be very difficult to replace a talisman like Tana.  
Difficult life ahead of the leadership component of the All Blacks I think, but they are such a talented team and such a well coached team that the captaincy really shouldn't be such a big issue.  
i have given my views on captaincy before - it is much more important than what most believe.

richie is more than capable, but the reference to the islanders and the respect they had for tana was quite interesting to me. it almost eluded to the fact that islanders and white players dont always see eye to eye but maybe i am reading too much into it.

also, richie had better stay fit, they loose him they are in kak
 
Oh PA you read that in it too.


I wonder how much truth there is in that.

I wonder if Patrick would be willing to tell us what he reckons about the race relations between 'white' Kiwis and the PI's?

I know that race has never been a major thing in New Zealand, but why write something like that if it wasn't...
 
exactly, this article appeared on an international website, so i dont think it is some SA dickhead trying to spin something  
Pissant and David,

You two are a real worry, you know so little about the NZ scene that is is laughable. Wherever did you dredge up the garbage from that their is some sort of friction between whiteys and brownies AB's.

As one of you has said there is no racism per se in NZ. NZ was born out of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 when the Maoris asked the Crown (England) if they could form a partnership with the whites in the Colony in order to protect them from the savagery of one particular Chief, Te Raprahau (SP) who had managed to buy a ship and guns and went on raiding the South Island tribes to take prisoners to EAT! At that time the Maoris had hunted out all the meat animals in the country. The Crown granted them exactly the same rights as the Colonists and the ongoing substance was both white and brown would become one people. So you can forget the racism garbage.

As for the respect for Tana Umaga it is universal throughout NZ. There is NO division between browns and whites in the AB's and there never has been.

Patrick.
 
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