All Blacks halfbacks for Canada highlight the class of 2011

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They were part of the 2011 Under-20 world championship winning side that has contributed so much to All Blacks rugby. Apart from themselves others who have played for the All Blacks include: Beauden Barrett, Lima Sopoaga, Codie Taylor, Steven Luatua, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Luke Whitelock, Charles Piutau, Francis Saili,Dominic Bird, Tongan Test player Ben Tameifuna, Welsh international Gareth Anscombe and England international Brad Shields.

 

Weber said the way Perenara led sides was the biggest evolution he had seen in his game since 2011.

 

"We know what TJ's ability is around the field with his running game and his defensive ability. The way he can drive a game now and really take control has been quite impressive actually.

 

"We've seen what he and Baz [Beauden Barrett] do with the Hurricanes so I think that's probably been the biggest leap because he's always had the raw ability and talent. We've known that since he was a young fellow," he said.

 

Perenara said he and Weber had always competed with each other and that was part and parcel of the game.

 

"But what I've seen with Webby, especially in the last few years, is his ability to just be himself out on the field. He's confident, up at the Chiefs obviously with Tawera [Kerr Barlow] and Triple T [Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi] there's very good nines up there.

"And seeing Webby step outside of that and just be himself…we play a different style of game but Webby's one of the best in the world at the way he plays the game.

 

"To see someone not conform to what everyone else wants a nine to be and just do his thing and be really, really good at that, that's what I like because that's what I try to do with my game as well," he said.

 

Weber said he hadn't been in touch with Chiefs teammate Tyler Ardron who is captain of Canada since they were each selected for the tournament. They had hoped to play against each other and Weber felt the desire to get one over the other would be the same for both of them.

 

"He's a top man. He's an athlete, his work rate around the field and the things he does out of position a lot of times, especially for the Chiefs, he's a loose forward that was playing lock for us.

 

"He's deceptively quick so we've got to be really switched on to his ability around the field to run the ball. He'll play himself into the ground so leading the Canadians on Wednesday you'll see plenty of that from him," he said.

Weber said he was excited to have the chance to play again. And while it was his World Cup debut his requirement to play his game remained.

 

While helping players prepare for upcoming games, and taking on some of the attributes of the opposition players they would face, Weber said there were elements that could be added to his own game from them. However, it still needed to fit in with what the All Blacks required.

 

As an example he said South Africa's halfbacks played differently to what New Zealand's did.

 

"It's about taking the little things you like about their game and trying to implement it into a part where it's still valuable for our role as a nine [halfback] here," he said.

 

Being a smaller player, Weber said it was common for bigger players to think he would be easier to run over, but he explained that made it one of the easier tackles to make because he could get into a good body position and 'ride the wave'.

 

"It's the guys with good footwork that I find the toughest to tackle," he said.

 

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