Sean Fitzpatrick has placed serious question marks on New Zealand’s current form and coaching staff after their successive Tri-Nations defeats.
The ex-New Zealand hooker spoke out after the All Blacks’ 31-19 defeat to the Springboks in Durban, calling their performance ‘pretty average to say the least’.
‘We said before the game, this was a huge match for the All Blacks and would be a fair reflection of where they are,’ he told nzherald.co.nz.
‘There needs to be serious questions asked. Not only about the players for their lack of discipline, but also the coaches for their lack of a game plan and where we are actually going because at the moment we are really struggling.
‘New Zealand will be asking those questions and so they should be.’
Fitzpatrick welcomed the All Blacks’ three-week break before their next Tri-Nations clash with the Wallabies in Sydney on 22 August. He believes this will give New Zealand time to focus on their flaws.
‘They have a rest now, which is lucky, but they have a lot of work to do in terms of just sorting out the lineout.
‘There is one big question for me, being a hooker, why they are not winning their own lineout ball. I don’t know how far away Ali Williams is [Williams is injured for the season], but there are a number of players there who will be asked questions of.
‘You look at Richie McCaw – [Heinrich] Brussow totally out-shone him, but once again, the rest of the forward pack are not contributing.’
On that note, Fitzpatrick has no doubts pivot Daniel Carter will make a comeback to the All Blacks’ squad. He also believes Carter will give the team more direction on the field.
‘I would be looking seriously at Daniel Carter. I know he has only played two games but he showed me enough against North Harbour to say he should slot straight back into the team.
‘Why not bring him back? Because at the moment they are lacking real direction at 10.’