New Zealand’s midfield has been a constant topic of discussion over the past few seasons.
Following the retirement of the legendary trio of Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Sonny-Bill Williams, All Blacks head coaches Steve Hansen and now Ian Foster have yet to land on a settled combination.
Anton Leinert-Brown, Jack Goohue, Reiko Ioane, David Havili and Quinn Tupaea have all been used as options in recent times.
No doubt all of these players are highly talented, throw in Jordie Barrett and Foster has a number of options.
Whilst none of these players a shrinking violet in the physicality stakes, none are quite the battering ram options that Nonu or SBW were.
There is however an option in New Zealand who is on the outside looking in that may well fill that void.
At 6ft and 118kg, Moana Pasifika’s Levi Aumua has been in flying form for Tasman in the Bunnings NPC Cup.
Aumua has been dominating defences throughout the tournament and is no slouch when it comes to pace off the mark and possessing great skills.
At 27-years-old he still has plenty of time to break through at international level. He also has the added benefit of having played all over the globe and thus has seen it all in terms of rugby cultures.
Some may argue that 27-years-old makes Aumua a late bloomer in international stakes, it is however worth remembering that Deon Fourie has recently made his Springbok debut at 35-years-old….