The All Blacks

Future proof

Words: Scotty Stevenson
Photography: Getty Images

The All Blacks may be most talked about for their winning tally, but that record relies upon a constant regeneration of talent. We take a look at three players who are set to shine for New Zealand over the coming years

CODIE TAYLOR

Taylor has always been impressive as a player with pace and athleticism in one of the most important positions on the field. He was selected for New Zealand schools in 2009, and the world champion New Zealand under-20 team in 2011. Like All Blacks starter Dane Coles, Taylor seems blessed with an ability to break the line, and to score tries – as he did in his All Blacks debut against Argentina in Christchurch. Coles and Taylor will redefine the hooking role in world rugby.

CODIE TAYLOR

 

PERSONAL DATA

Date of birth: March 31, 1991

Height: 1.83m (6ft 0in)

Weight: 106kg (16st 10lb)

Position: Hooker

 

RUGBY UNION CAREER

Provincial team

Canterbury (2012-present): 21 Caps/ 25 Points

Super Rugby

Crusaders (2013-present): 19 Caps/ 5 Points

National team

New Zealand (under 20; 2011): 5 Caps/ 0 Points

Maori All Blacks (2014): 2 Caps/ 5 Points

New Zealand (2015-present): 2 Caps/ 5 Points

Blade Thomson

The versatile Thomson already found a place with the All Blacks in the North America Tour 2013. He’s now knocking on the selection door with a number of consistent, battering performances for the Hurricanes and the national champion Taranaki side. Thomson, a dual threat as a back rower or lock, was a member of the 2010 New Zealand under-20 team and has four caps for the All Blacks. Close to a call up in 2015, it won’t be too long before he gets his shot.

Blade Thomson

 

PERSONAL DATA

Date of birth: December 4, 1990

Height: 1.98m (6ft 6in)

Weight: 106kg (16st 10lb)

Position: Lock, Flanker, Number 8

 

RUGBY UNION CAREER

Provincial team

Taranaki (2010-present): 36 Caps/ 50 Points

Super Rugby

Hurricanes (2013-present): 26 Caps/ 25 Points

National team

New Zealand (under 20; 2010): 5 Caps/ 15 Points

Maori All Blacks (2014-present): 4 Caps/ 0 Points

Nehe Milner-Skudder

Manawatu’s Milner-Skudder turned heads in the National Rugby League’s under-20 programme, but returned to New Zealand and to rugby several seasons ago. After stellar performances for his provincial side, he got a full contract with the Hurricanes in 2015 and with his first touch in the tournament, set up a try for teammate Julian Savea. With amazing acceleration and footwork, and a great eye for an opening in the defence, Milner-Skudder is a prospect with amazing promise.

Nehe Milner-Skudder

 

PERSONAL DATA

Date of birth: December 15, 1990

Height: 1.80m (5ft 11in)

Weight: 90kg (14st 2lb)

Position: Fullback, Wing

 

RUGBY UNION CAREER

Provincial team

Manawatu (2011-present): 35 Caps/ 30 Points

Super Rugby

Hurricanes (2015-present): 15 Caps/ 20 Points

National team

Maori All Blacks (2014): 2 Caps/ 10 Points

New Zealand (2015-present): 0 Caps/ 0 Points

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