The All Blacks will begin their 2023 season riding a seven-game unbeaten streak that ended last year with six wins and a draw.
After a rocky start to 2022, the team found some rhythms after some changes with a pair of new assistants in Jason Ryan and Joe Schmidt.
However, more changes are to come according to Kiwi writer Mark who believes the team will send two-time world player of the year Beauden Barrett to the bench to help Crusaders fly-half Will Jordan.
“I’d very much like to see Will Jordan come back in at fullback, I think that is an important change for them to make,” Reason said on Stuff’s The Podium podcast.
“I think the whole thing with the alpha male, Richie [Mo’unga] and Beauden [Barrett] shading himself a little, is of no use.
“I would rather see Beauden become an impact player off the bench because he is so famous. I think it might save Richie a little bit. “
Richie Mo’unga has become the All Blacks’ first-choice option at No 10 for a stretch after beating the Springboks in the second Test at Ellis Park.
The Pilgrims looked set to lose the role in 2021 after staying in New Zealand for family reasons, allowing Beauden Barrett to play a string of games at first five and eight.
In the loss at Mbombela Stadium with Barrett starting 10, the new coaching staff again initiated a change.
The Kiwi rugby writer has called for consistency in selection, especially in midfield, so that combinations can be adjusted ahead of the World Cup.
“There’s not a lot of work involved in forming a 10-12-13 combination. One of the big failings of Foster’s career has been inconsistency in selection,” he said.
“Mo’unga has played for, I think, nine out of ten different No 12s in his fairly short international career.
“Why did they change everything in Scotland again? It’s crazy when you want to get some consistency in the selection, so these companies can form.”
The All Blacks looked to have struck gold with the selection of regular fullback Jordie Barrett at second, fifth and eighth in the final Bledisloe Test of the year.
Barrett continued to travel to Wales at the end of year 12, but again David Havili was deployed to Scotland.
“One of the reasons Carter was so good was, obviously, one of the great, great players, but he was playing with Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith in so many Tests,” Reason said.
“We need familiarity which of them is 10-12-13.”
“For my money it’s probably going to be Mo’unga, Jordie Barrett now, and Rieko Ioane and we need to stick with them.”
The end-of-year tour was always a chance for Dalton to start for the Blues after captain Sam Cane’s injury against Japan.
Reason believed it was time for Foster to start a new chapter with a new captain after the toll of injuries that Cane had.
“He knows the whole country shouldn’t be, he wasn’t a great player five years ago, and why he was after so many ugly injuries,” explained the reason.
“He’s not that player, he gives too many penalties, which cost the All Blacks in games against Ireland.
“And I am not even convinced of a leader, nor a leader of one kind or another. He is not strong or himself, very vocal.
“He’s sitting in between. Sometimes he gets confused after games, so I don’t think he’s the one [All Blacks captain].
“Will it happen? I think Foster is incredible, incredibly persistent in this. If through the leaders, which I suspect, it will be.”