I've been thinking about the fullback options for the AB's and i've decided that if NZ are willing to have Blair at fullback who you could say would be a little weak on defence..then why not just play Mehrtens at fullback?
Mehrtens is an exceptional positional player..by that I mean he has the ability to read the game very well and he also has experience, plus he can boot the ball a fair distance.
So that way..NZ gets their best kicker & they can keep Spencer at 1st 5/8 so he just has to worry about making plays and not about how bad he is kicking. And if Spencer were to be injured in a match, Mitchell could slot Mehrtens into 1st 5/8 and bring on either Blair, MacDonald or Muliaina.
This is whats so great about this AB squad if they play to their potential because most of the backline can play good at 2 or more positions.
-Daniel Carter can play 1st 5/8 & 2nd 5/8
-Aaron Mauger can play 1st 5/8, 2nd 5/8 & Centre
-Carlos Spencer can play 1st 5/8, 2nd 5/8 or Fullback
-Tana Umaga can play Centre, Wing or 2nd 5/8
-Mils Muliaina can play Fullback, Wing or Centre
-Leon MacDonald can play Fullback, Wing, 1st 5/8, 2nd 5/8 or Centre
-Ben Blair can play Fullback or Wing
-Ma'a Nonu can play Wing or Centre
And I dunno about Devine as the starting half-back...defensively Marshall is alot better and Devine got squashed a couple of times by the Saffies on Saturday.
Onto the game this saturday...I think it'll be a great match and on form you'd think the AB's would win, but remember this is a Bledisloe Cup match and wins don't come easy so Australia will be ready for sure.