Akira Ioane has incredible talent – not only to be an All Black, but a great one at that.
So why is he travelling with the Maori All Blacks through South America, rather than the All Blacks on the Northern Tour?
Despite some impressive Super Rugby form, and playing a key role in Auckland’s Mitre10 Cup Premiership victory this year; Akira Ioane failed to secure a position with the All Blacks on the End of Year Tour.
Many people are asking why. The answer is actually incredibly simple.
While the All Black selectors will have their own reasons, I believe it is his involvement off the ball that has let him down – specifically his workrate. He needs to be a threat on defence, as well as attack.
There is no denying Akira is one of the most devastating ball-runners in the modern game. He is as fast as he is strong, and is one of the hardest men to put down with ball in hand.
However without addressing the weak-area identified by the All Black selectors, tragically, Akira Ioane will fail to make his All Black debut.
The good news for Ioane is that he will have been told by selectors where he needs to improve, and can go about addressing this shortfall in coming matches – demonstrating he has improved in this area.
Brad Weber is another player in a similar position, and is no doubt working hard to impress the selectors and push his way back into the All Black squad.
These examples are case in point why we decided to introduce the Pro-Player Combine.
While Ioane and Weber are playing at the highest level – there are equivalent examples of players at club or representative level, throughout New Zealand and even abroad, that have missed selection for a side because of particular shortfalls in their game.
Unfortunately in these cases, many are left wondering why they have missed out.
The Pro-Player Combine has been designed to provide ambitious 18+ year-old players with the opportunity to work with one of our Position-Specific Specialists to identify the strengths and weaknesses in their game – and ultimately address the areas that are costing them selection.
If you know an ambitious player seeking a pathway to the next level, don’t let him miss this fantastic opportunity.
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