If you’re one of those people baying for Will Jordan to play at fullback for the All Blacks over the business end of this Rugby World Cup, rest assured: the 25-year-old try-scoring sensation hears your support.
He’s also sorry if this offends anyone, but he has learned that it’s in his best interests to tune out that outside noise, and leave the fretting over his best position in New Zealand’s national rugby team to those whose job it is to decide these things.
Undoubtedly there is a large segment of New Zealand’s rugby fraternity who would love to see Jordan unleashed in the No 15 jersey where he has played just one of his 26 tests to date (against the Wallabies in Dunedin earlier this year). All Blacks coach Ian Foster thus far has not been one of them, preferring Beauden Barrett as his first-choice fullback, and pushing the Crusaders speedster to the right wing, where he has started 21 internationals, including the World Cup opener against France.
Jordan confirmed he had been training at both fullback and wing in Bordeaux where the All Blacks are spending their World Cup bye week, before returning to Lyon on Saturday for the key pool encounter against Italy (Saturday NZT). But he cautioned not to read too much into that with the lineup to face the Azzurri still to be settled on.
Though there are plenty keen to see Jordan given a crack in his best position against Italy – ex-All Black turned pundit Jeff Wilson among them – it’s unlikely Foster will have a change of heart at this stage. Especially with tactical kicking so prevalent in France, and Barrett seen as having the superior game in that facet.
“To be honest, it’s something that I’ve got a lot better at dealing with,” he said after a high-intensity Wednesday training hitout in sunny Bordeaux. “When I first came into the team it was something that I focu
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