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loose forward, Blues
Plus: Gets around the paddock and has a good turn of pace. Hits very hard and goes deep into the well to be a force throughout the game.
Minus: Is it just the red hair which gets him noticed? Big body but gets in the way a bit too often. Too raw for the next step.
Plus: Just continuing on from the excellent form he showed for Auckland last year. Runs good lines and solid on defence.
Minus: About as much flair as a meeting of the governance and administration select committee. Improved by the players around him.
Plus: Taken every chance which has come along. A pocket rocket who has been a handful for every opponent this season.
Minus: Too small, perhaps. Struggles to get game time in a backline packed with talent.
loose forward, Chiefs
Plus: Dominated a couple of New Zealand derbies. Big and tough and never takes a backward step. Has outplayed some worthy opponents.
Minus: Playing in a poor team so easy to stand out. No-one knows what is his best position. Could be a tweener.
Plus: Dangerous player who knows his way to the tryline, very quick and hard to stop.
Minus: There are plenty like him around and some have the runs on the board. Not the world's greatest defender.
Plus: Electric and very hard to keep out of a game. Knows how to score tries and is dynamic with ball in hand.
Minus: Not played much at all. Great going forward but one of many who went missing when the Sharks came calling. Do we need another Crusader in the All Blacks?
first five-eighth, Highlanders
Plus: Running the cutter well for the Highlanders, calmness under pressure and taking many good options.
Minus: Had a couple of average games, still learning his craft, would be like making Hamish Walker the prime minister.
Plus: Tenacious and hard working, good for a scrap.
Minus: Poor option taking, far too greedy, slipped way off the radar
outside back, Chiefs
Plus: Quick and agile, strong runner and good finisher
Minus: Ball seems to be passing him by, set back by niggly injuries, playing in a poor side.
Plus: Massive front rower who has skills and a real desire. Has huge potential.
Minus: Always injured, cannot string a series of games together.
Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
Plus: Nice pass and does everything that is asked of him.
Minus: Cannot get a game, sat behind skipper, hard to press claims with 10 minutes at the end if lucky.
first five-eighth, Crusaders
Plus: Looked good for Canterbury last year.
Minus: Fluffed his one line in poor effort against Waratahs and not sighted since. Another biased Canterbury selection from last year.
loose forward, Hurricanes
Plus: An X-factor player who can do plenty of things on the field.
Minus: Has not been sighted because of calf injury, may be out of the running.
On his day one of the best wingers in world rugby.
Minus: That day was four years ago. Injured too often.
loose forward, Highlanders
Plus: On his game and firing then look out, can be devastating on attack and defence.
Minus: Not played all season, missing in action.
Plus: Quick and always scoring tries when in form.
Minus: If you are only as good as your last game then this guy is no chance.