'It was absolutely senseless'- Kirwan on strange decision over struggling All Black
By Rugby Onslaught

‘It was absolutely senseless’- Kirwan on strange decision over struggling All Black

Auckland’s decision to move Roger Tuivasa-Sheck onto the wing last weekend against Taranaki has not gone down too well with former All Black John Kirwan.

After initially being named at No12, the 29-year-old started in the No14 jersey in Auckland’s 38-24 win, to which Kirwan said on¬†The Breakdown¬†this week that it must be down to a “phone call from Fozzy [All Blacks head coach Ian Foster].”

It is fair to say that Tuivasa-Sheck’s All Blacks career has not really taken off so far. Having been a fullback in rugby league, he has been used primarily in the midfield by the All Blacks when he has played, and Kirwan believes this move to the wing was maybe an experiment to see how many positions the former New Zealand Warriors star can play. But he was not happy with it.

“I know that Craig McGrath came out afterwards and said ‘we wanted him to relax and enjoy his footy and roam’,” Kirwan said. “Firstly, you’re playing on the right wing, and I’ve been out there, on a wet day you’re not going to get the ball, so that was wrong. Also, when players pass from left to right it’s harder for them, so if you’re going to play and roam, go on the left wing. So I just didn’t get it. I though it was absolutely senseless. I mean, here’s a guy that has moved, wants to play No12, we’ve seen him play ten minutes of a Test match at No12 and then they name him at No12 and put him on the wing, I just don’t get it. Someone must have called.”

The experiment is going to continue this week, with Tuivasa-Sheck being named on the wing to face North Harbour in the NPC quarter-finals on Friday.

Auckland XV
15 Jordan Trainor
14 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
13 AJ Lam
12 Corey Evans
11 Tomas Aoake
10 Harry Plummer
9 Taufa Funaki
1 Alex Hodgman
2 Soane Vikena
3 Angus Ta’avao
4 Patrick Tuipulotu
5 Hamish Dalzell
6 Akira Ioane
7 Blake Gibson
8 Jackson Pugh

16Leni Apisai
17 Jordan Lay
18 Marcel Renata
19 Josh Beehre
20 Terrell Peita
21 Manu Paea
22 Simon Hickey
23 Jock McKenzie