2018 Brisbane Global Tens: Outright Preview


The Brisbane Global Tens tournament will get underway on Friday the 9th of February. 

The annual Brisbane Tens has become an extremely popular pre-Super Rugby event with a whole host of teams using it to fine tune for the upcoming 2018 campaign. While most of the competitors are Super Rugby franchises, the tournament draws teams from all over the globe with French Top 14 outfit Pau, Japanese side Panasonic Wild Knights as well as a representative Fijian side also taking part in this year's edition.

To Win Outright
Hurricanes 4/1 | Chiefs 4/1 | Crusaders 4/1 | Highlanders 6/1 | Fiji 6/1 | Blues 7/1 | Brumbies 14/1 | Waratahs 14/1 | Rebels 20/1 | Reds 20/1 | Pau 25/1 | Wild Knights 40/1

Tournament Overview
 The tournament runs from Friday the 9th of February up until Saturday the 10th of February. This year's edition will see 12 teams battle it out over two days, with the Pool phase taking place on Friday and early on Saturday, while the play-offs take place late on Saturday. There will be three different pools with four teams allocated to each pool, with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the quarter-finals along the best two pool phase third-place finishers.

In terms of the on-field rules, only ten players are allowed on the field at one time but sides can carry a squad of 18 players for each match. There are rolling subs as well, which is great news for the 'Wild Card Players' as their old legs can't exactly handle a huge amount of game time. Speaking of the 'Wild Card Players', each team is allowed to call upon one club legend to join their squad. This is one of the highlights of the tournament for viewers who will get to see the likes of Carlos Spencer (Blues) and Pita Alatini (Chiefs) take to the rugby field again.

There are other rules which vary from the XV's game, with sides taking drop goals rather than place kicks for conversions. Another difference to XV's is that sides who score will then take the kick-off to restart the game.

As the tournament organisers want this to be fast-paced in nature, referees have been told to end the advantage call early and teams will only have 40 seconds from when a try is scored to attempt a conversion.

Last year's tournament, which was the inaugural staging of the event, was won by the Chiefs who beat the Crusaders 12-7 in the final.

Pools

Pool A
Wild Knights, Blues, Reds, and Rebels

Pool B
Pau, Waratahs, Chiefs, and Highlanders

Pool C
Brumbies, Crusaders, Chiefs, and Hurricanes

Squads

HURRICANES
Julian Savea, Brayden lose, Ben Lam, Alex Fidow, Fraser Armstrong, Tolu Fahamokioa, James O'Reilly, Murray Douglas, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Will Mangos, Liam Mitchell, Sam Henwood, Chase Tiatia, Finlay Christie, Jamie Booth, Losi Filipo, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Malo Tuitama, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Jonah Lowe, Trent Renata, Hunter Prescott

CRUSADERS
Jone Macilai, George Bridge, Manasa Mataele, Braydon Ennor, Jack Stratton, Zach McKay, Brett Cameron, Tima Faingaanuku, Ngane Punivai, Richard Judd, Andrew Makalio, Billy Harmon, Ethan Blackadder, Tom Christie, Jordan Manihera, Hamish Dalzell, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Ben Morris, Dylan Nel, Harrison Allen, Nathan Vella

REDS
James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Sef Fa’agase, JP Smith, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Andrew Ready, Angus Blyth, Harry Hockings, Kane Douglas, Angus Scott-Young, Michael Gunn, Liam Wright, Tai Ford, Reece Hewat, James Tuttle, Moses Sorovi, Tate McDermott, Hamish Stewart, Nick Jooste, Teti Tela, Tony Hunt, Samu Kerevi, Filipo Daugunu, Jayden Ngamanu, Izaia Perese, Lachlan Maranta

PAU
Conrad Smith, Colin Slade, Ben Mowen, Steffon Armitage, Tom Taylor, Lourens Adriaanse, Frank Halai, Jamie Mackintosh, Ignacio Calles, Lucas Rey Quentin Lespiauq, Jeremy Hurou, Daniel Ramsay, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Pierrick Gunther, Baptiste Pesenti, Martin Puech, Thibault Daubagna, Clovis Lebail, Bastien Pourailly, Brandon Fajardo, Mathias Colombet, Watisoni Votu, Florian Nicot, Carl Hayman

WILD KNIGHTS
Shohei Hirano, Atsushi Sakate, Asaeli Ai Valu, Ryota Hasegawa, Daniel Heenan, Ben Gunter, Yuji Shimogama, Ryu Koliniasi Holani, Keisuke Uchida, Berrick Barnes, Kenki Fukuoka, Rikiya Matsuda, Yasutaka Sasakura, Akitito Yamada, Digby Ioane, Jack Cornelsen, Emersen Tamura, Masaki Tani, Tevita Tupou, Takuya Yamasawa, Taiki Koyama, Iori Kaji, Yoshikazu Fujita, Yuga Hyakutake, Ryuji Noguchi, Kentaro Kodama

HIGHLANDERS
Aki Sieuli, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Tyrel Lomax, Alex Ainley, Paripari Parkinson, Elliot Dixon, Dan Pryor, Shannon Frizell, Luke Whitelock, Dillon Hunt, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Kalolo Tuiloma, Guy Millar, Ash Dixon, Josh Dickson, Kayne Hammington, Josh Renton, Josh Ioane, Fletcher Smith, Tevita Nabura, Teihorangi Walden, Ryan Tongia, Josh McKay, Richard Buckman, Terrance Hepetema, Pita Alatini

CHIEFS
Aidan Ross, Liam Polwart, Sosefo Kautai, Michael Allardice, Lachlan McWhannel, Mitchell Brown, Mitchell Karpik, Liam Messam, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Marty Mckenzie, Solomon Alaimalo, Charlie Ngatai, Tim Nanai-Williams, Toni Pulu, Shaun Stevenson, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Angus Ta’avao, Atunaisa Moli, Taleni Seu, Lachlan Boshier, Jonathan Taumateine, Tiaan Falcon, Johnny Fa’auli, Alex Nankivell

BRUMBIES
Robbie Abel, Ben Alexander, Richie Arnold, Rory Arnold, Tom Cusack, Blake Enever, Mees Erasmus, Lolo Fakaosilea, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Lachlan McCaffrey, Connal McInerney, Faalelei Sione, Darcy Swain, Rob Valetini, James Dargaville, Isaak Fines, Kyle Godwin, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Ryan Lonergan, Matthew Lucas, Andrew Muirhead, Chance Peni, Henry Speight, Lausii Taliauli, James Verity-Amm, Andrew Walker

REBELS
Jock Armstrong, Duncan Chubb, Jack Debreczeni, Colby Fainga’a, Sam Figg, Adam Freier, Will Genia, Harrison Goddard, Esei Ha’angana, David Horwitz, Trevor Hosea, Henry Hutchison, Latu Latunipulu, Sama Malolo, Tom Moloney, Hunter Paisami, Rowan Perry, Kitione Ratu, Dom Shipperley, Alex Toolis, Andrew Tuala, Sione Tuipulotu, Ikapote Tupai, Semisi Tupou, Mahe Vailanu, Sam Warda

BLUES
Caleb Clarke, Kurt Ecklund, Jordan Hyland, Akira Ioane, Antonio Kirikiri, Orbyn Leger, George Moala, Melanai Nanai, Sam Nock, Jordan Olsen, Dalton Papalii, Jacob Pierce, Marcel Renata, Jonathan Ruru, Hoskins Sotutu, Carlos Spencer, Michael Tamoaeita, Murphy Taramai, Tanielu Telea, Jordan Trainor, Tamati Tua, Jimmy Tupou

WARATAHS
Cam Clark, Damien Fitzpatrick, Lalakai Foketi, Jake Gordon, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Maclean Jones, Tolu Latu, Mack Mason, Ryan McCauley, Kelly Meafua, Will Miller, Drew Mitchell, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Alex Newsome, Rory O’Connor, Curtis Rona, JP Sauni, Mitch Short, Irae Simone, Lachlan Swinton, Cody Walker

FIJI
Joeli Veitayaki, Rautnaisa Navuma, Mosese Ducivaki, Viliame Rarasea, Filimoni Seru Camaitovu, Mosese Ducivaki, Peni Raidre, Albert Tuisue, Serupepeli Vularika, Jone Manu Taufaga, Aparosa Tabulawaki, Timoci Senaite, Ifereimi Tovilevu, Lepani Rayala, Inia Tawalo, Veremalua Vugakoto, Kalivate Tawake, Vesi Rarawa, Timoci Sauvoli, Levani Kurimudu, Frank Lomani, Enele Malele, Chris Kurandrani, Penasio Kunabuli, Fabiano Rogovakalali, Eroni Mawi

Title Challengers

Chiefs
The defending champions have brought a very handy squad with them which includes Charlie Ngati and Liam Messam. They also have a handful of promising young guns amongst their squad with Tiaan Falcon and Shaun Stevenson sure to relish the fast-paced nature of the Tens game.

The Chiefs have been drawn in Pool C alongside local rivals the Hurricanes, Australian outfit the Waratahs and French side Pau. This is arguably the easiest draw of the lot with Pau likely to be little more than canon-fodder. The Chiefs will face stiff competition from a solid looking Waratahs side and an ever competitive Highlanders outfit. But, on paper, the men from Waikato seem to have the most adept 10's squad in the pool.

Crusaders
The defending champions have brought a very handy squad with them which includes Charlie Ngati and Liam Messam. They also have a handful of promising young guns among their squad with Tiaan Falcon and Shaun Stevenson sure to relish the fast-paced nature of the Tens game.

The Chiefs are drawn in Pool C alongside local rivals the Hurricanes, Australian outfit the Waratahs and French side Pau. This is arguably the easiest draw of the lot with Pau likely to be little more than canon-fodder. The Chiefs will face stiff competition from a solid-looking Waratahs side and an ever competitive Highlanders outfit. But, on paper, the men from Waikato seem to have the most adept 10's squad in the pool.

Hurricanes
Is their a side more suited to 10's rugby than the 'Canes? On paper, no. The men from Wellington may have failed to make a big impact at the inaugural Brisbane Global Tens but I suspect that won't be the case this year.

The 'Canes have brought a very strong squad with them to Brisbane with Julian Savea, Lose Filipo and Jackson Garden-Bachop all set to take part. They are missing the Barrett Brothers, who would no doubt tear this tournament apart, and it's quite sad to hear that Nehe Milner-Skudder will also be absent through injury. Still, this Hurricanes squad is more than capable of claiming the 250 000 Australian Dollar purse that the tournament winners will receive.

Waratahs
I quite like the cut of this Waratahs squad. They have some exciting backs including Irae Simone and Mack Mason, while forwards Jack Demsey and Rory O'Connor will give a solid platform at the set-piece.

The Waratahs also have one of the younger 'Wild Card Players' in the form of Drew Mitchell, who was a key member of the Australian side that made it to the 2015 World Cup Final.

Blues
The men from Auckland always look good on paper prior to any tournament but seldom deliver the goods. Hopefully, this won't be the case at the Brisbane Global Tens as I would love to see Carlos Spencer try roll back the years and try something audacious with a final on the line.

The Blues have arguably brought the strongest side to Brisbane with Akira Ioane, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Jordan Trainor and Jimmy Tupuo all making the trip. As such, they have a very exciting backline and a powerful forward pack that should dominate most opponents.

Dark Horse

Panasonic Wild Knights
Japan's sole representative, the Panasonic, Wild Knights, caused a few shocks last year as they beat the Waratahs and Rebels on their way to bowing at of the tournament at the quarter-final stage. They have brought a star-studded squad with them to Brisbane which will feature Queensland legends Berrick Barnes and Digby Ioane. The Wild Knights will need their Japanese contingent to shine, however, as Barnes and Ioane are not exactly capable of bossing the show due to their ageing legs.

The Wild Knights do hold an advantage over all the teams in the tournament, bar Pau, as they have just concluded the just concluded their domestic season so there shouldn't be any ring rust this weekend.

Verdict: Blues 7/1
I'm having a moderate crack on the Blues for this tournament. They have a solid squad who should thrive in the open nature of a 10's tournament. 

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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