Broncos half Benji Marshall has openly stated his desire to return to the Kiwi Test team, and on form, he should arguably be the first half picked.
But apparently the Kiwis aren’t interested in form.
According to Stuff, the Kiwis’ convenor of selectors, Tawera Nikau has given a strong indication that they plan to snub Marshall, despite his impressive form for Brisbane, both in the halves and as a utility.
“If you read through the lines, you can see how we’ve brought some of the young players on, the likes of Te Maire Martin and Kodi Nikorima,” Nikau said.
“I think Benji has said they should pick Kodi before him in a couple of games in the finals.”
“What we’re doing is making sure we’ve got a team that can perform and does have experience, but also moving forward, we’re doing some planning for the future.”
In his place, the report indicates that Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran will be the first choice halves selected, despite the combination achieving nothing for the Warriors, and Foran in particular being bog average in 2017.
The report also names Isaac Luke, Thomas Leuluai, Danny Levi, Matt McIlwrick and Nathaniel Roache as the leading contenders for the hooking position. Leuluai is only four months younger than Marshall, and Luke is also over 30; but apparently age isn’t an issue for hookers.