Opinion: He doesn't have the razzle dazzle, but David Havili is the complete fullback


David Havili doesn't quite have the same highlights reel that Jordie Barrett did for the Super Rugby season, but it was never the flashy plays the All Blacks coaching staff were looking for in Havili.

The Crusaders' star could be in line for his first international cap against Argentina.
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That said, a fair question to ask is just what do the All Blacks coaches like about the 22-year-old from Nelson?

From what I observed throughout the Crusaders campaign this season, he's the type of player who continued to get the job done with little fuss. His positional play was outstanding, allowing the backs to have confidence in their counter attack from deep.

His form was so good that it kept All Black Israel Dagg out of the No.15 jersey all season and the only times the Crusaders lost was when Havili had to shift into the midfield.

Crusaders' utility back Havili has been called into the All Blacks after Jordie Barrett suffered a shoulder injury.
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From there the Crusaders coaches did everything they could to keep Havili operating from the back three, meaning a permanent stay for Dagg on the right wing.

But the key thing for All Blacks selectors is they know Havili has the right temperament for the big stage, especially when forced to make decisions under pressure. Havili has continually proved that nothing fazes him, especially when it comes to taking high balls from the sky.

When Damian McKenzie threw an intercept pass to Israel Folau in the opening minutes of the Bledisloe test in Dunedin, it's hard to see Havili doing the same.

Havili looks certain to be given the role of specialist fullback. He's capable of covering midfield but the All Blacks will no doubt want an assured playmaker operating out of the back three and one that has the capability of launching long range kicks.

The kid from Motueka constantly found himself in the right place on the field all season and after a few weeks in the All Blacks camp, he's found himself in the right place at the right time for a Test debut against Argentina.

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