Not quite a year has passed since we posted our selection for the NZ Meat Blacks team in 2014. We thought it was time to look again at the potential leaders for 2015.
There have been a few changes in the team this year, with Keith Cooper (Silver Fern Farms) – who scored a late try, winning the NZ Herald Business Leader of the Year recently – and Grant Cuff (Alliance) both departing their roles this month and Jeanette Maxwell (Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre) passing the baton to Rick Powdrell. In another change, Bruce Wills (Federated Farmers) did well, scoring a try mid-way through the year winning the 2014 LandCorp Communicator of the Year Award, but has also passed his baton on to new Feds president, William Rolleston.
We wish them all the very best with their future endeavours – and are sure it won’t be the last we hear of them!
Other team changes for 2015 are: last year’s 2nd 5/8 Peter Chrisp (NZTE) has gone to the cheerleading team, and is replaced by Andy MacFarlane (DINZ), while Gerard Hickey (Firstlight) took the half-back place vacated by Grant Cuff (Alliance) and Rob Hewett (SFF) has slotted in as hooker, in place of Keith Cooper (SFF).
So here goes:
- Loosehead Prop – John McCarthy (MIE)
- Hooker – Rob Hewett (Silver Fern Farms) NEW!!
- Tighthead Prop – Tony Egan (Greenlea Premier Meats)
- Lock – Sir Graeme Harrison (Captain) (ANZCO Foods/NZIBF)
- Lock – Progressive Meats, Craig Hickson
- Blindside Flanker – Collier Isaacs (FarmIQ)
- Openside Flanker – Malcolm Bailey (Red Meat Profit Partnership)
- Number 8 – James Parsons (B+LNZ Ltd)
- Half-back – Gerard Hickey (Firstlight Foods) NEW!!
- 1st 5/8 – Murray Taggart (Alliance)
- 2nd 5/8 – Andy MacFarlane (Deer Industry New Zealand chair) NEW!!
- Centre – Jeff Grant (OSPRI)
- Left Wing – Rick Powdrell (Fed Farmers Meat & Fibre) NEW!!
- Right Wing – Dan Coup (Deer Industry New Zealand)
- Fullback – Fred Hellaby (Wilson Hellaby) NEW!
On the bench: Dean Hamilton (Silver Fern Farms), Andrew Taylor (Taylor Preston), Dr Tom Robinson (AgResearch), Kris Orange (Deer Farmers’ Association chair), William McCook (OSPRI CEO), William Rolleston (Federated Farmers chair) and Minister for Trade Tim Groser.
Team management: Team manager Bill Falconer (MIA); Coaching team: head coach Mike Petersen (NZ agricultural trade envoy), forwards Tim Ritchie (MIA) and backs Scott Champion (B+LNZ); Sir James Wallace ONZM (Wallace Corporation). Waterboy: Graham Cooney, Blue Sky Meats.
Cheerleaders: Rod Slater (B+LNZ Inc), Peter Chrisp, (NZTE), Stephen Jacobi (NZIBF); Sharon Angus (SFF), Murray Brown (Alliance), Innes Moffatt (DINZ), Trevor Walton (DINZ/Wham) and MeatExportNZ.
Referee: Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries, Linesman: Martyn Dunne (MPI). TMO: Sam Lewis (AFFCO)
Who’s your pick? Come on now, don’t be shy!!