“I don’t really know much about them” - All Blacks wing Sevu Reece admits to not knowing England’s Tommy Freeman and Manny Feyi-Waboso - Ruck

“I don’t really know much about them” – All Blacks wing Sevu Reece admits to not knowing England’s Tommy Freeman and Manny Feyi-Waboso

Whilst England’s breakthrough wings Tommy Freeman and Manny Feyi-Waboso have become household names amongst the Twickenham faithful, the two flyers are not that well known down in New Zealand.

All Blacks wing Sevu Reece admitted to not knowing much about the Northampton and Exeter stars, as they get set to meet on the touchlines of the Forsyth Barr Stadium this Saturday. Reece is set to make his return to the All Blacks after a lengthy injury lay off, with the Crusaders man evidently more focussed upon his own performance than his incoming opposition.

Speaking in today’s All Blacks press conference in Dunedin, Reece admitted to not having the best knowledge of the two England wings whom he’ll meet on Saturday.

“We have seen them carry on from their World Cup and they go to their high balls a lot and we are ready for that. We have prepped really well.”

“I don’t really know much about them, we have just been trying be familiar with the way we want to play. This week has been on ourselves and getting familiar with our roles. Come game time we are going to see which back three comes out on top.”

This lack of attention towards England’s attacking threats, raised questions around how much scouting work the All Blacks have done on Steve Borthwick’s side. Reece was asked a follow up question to his earlier response, and clarified that New Zealand were switched on by England’s tactical approach, despite not knowing much about the two dangerous wings.

“Oh yeah, we do.” Reece said. “They do a lot going up in the air, there are some big ball carriers and there is excitement for the challenge.”

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso of England during the Six Nations Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 10 February 2024 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Reece is set for his first Test match since the 2022 Autumn Nations win over Wales, having missed the Rugby World Cup with a severe knee injury. The Crusader could well have parted ways with the All Blacks following his return to the pitch, with tempting offers to Japan and France gaining his attention.

However, the wing evidently decided to stay in New Zealand, and enjoyed an impressive 2024 Super Rugby season with the Crusaders. Reece ended the campaign as the league’s top scorer, as he crossed over for 12 tries for the Christchurch side. A key reason as to why Reece stayed in New Zealand, was due to his former Crusaders coach Scott Robertson’s confirmed role as All Blacks head coach.

“It was probably Razor being coach that changed the decision around me leaving. When we found out Razor was going to be coach it put me in two minds and I wanted to be in this All Blacks environment with Razor as a coach. It was a tough decision but it just came down to Razor being coach, we all know what he can bring and I was excited to see what this year will bring. Razor made it clear ‘I brought you down to Crusaders’”

“Just watching the likes of Caleb (Clarke), Mark (Telea) here, I just wanted to put my best foot forward. Everything went to plan.”