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All Blacks' New Selection Process Under Scott Robertson

All Blacks' New Selection Process Under Scott Robertson

All BlacksJune 15, 2024

Excitement is building as the All Blacks prepare to unveil the first squad of 2024 on 24 June where 32 players will hear their names read out ahead of the Steinlager Ultra Low Carb Series.

This year's selection process has seen fierce competition, with many players showcasing exceptional form in DHL Super Rugby Pacific, making the task of choosing the squad for two Tests against England in Dunedin and Auckland, and one against Fiji in San Diego even more challenging.

This squad will mark a significant milestone, as it is the first All Blacks squad named under the guidance of new Head Coach Scott Robertson. A notable change in the selection process has been introduced this year, with all four Assistant Coaches Jason Ryan, Scott Hansen, Leon MacDonald and Jason Holland looking at specific positional groups.

The new process was as outlined by Ryan on the All Blacks Podcast.

"It's a bit of a change up this year, as all the assistant coaches have effectively got a say in selection," Ryan explained. "I'm taking care of the tight five and loosies, while Ray (Scott Robertson) is overseeing the loosies as well, but ultimately the forward pack is my responsibility."

This collaborative approach extends to the entire coaching team, each contributing their expertise to different areas of the squad. "Scotty Hansen is looking at the nines and tens and Jason Holland is doing the midfield, and Leon [MacDonald] takes care of the outsides and that fullback positioning," Ryan detailed.

The selection process commenced in Christchurch with a unique, interactive method. "We had a crack at the team probably a month ago for the first time in Christchurch. It was 'righto boys, grab the pen and chuck your names up and then let's have a debate.'"

Ryan emphasised the value of these discussions, highlighting the comprehensive and inclusive nature of the process. "We had a really robust conversation. It's good for me not to just think about the core roles of set piece and the forwards but it's good to hear conversations from other coaches around what they are seeing. It's a real good discussion, and at the end of the day, Ray's the boss and he makes the final call."

The collaborative spirit fosters a dynamic environment where different perspectives are considered, ensuring a well-rounded selection. "But it's good to have all those numbers in front from different areas, so we are all open to being challenged in picking the first All Blacks squad of the year," Ryan concluded.

Listen to the full podcast on Apple, Spotify, or watch on Youtube.

Catch the All Blacks squad naming LIVE on NZR+ and the Breakdown on Sky Sport NZ from 5.30pm on Monday 24 June.

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