Ollie Ritchie: What Scott Robertson's first All Blacks team could look like

OPINION: Beauden Barrett's commitment to NZ Rugby through until the next World Cup will no doubt have new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson breathing a sigh of relief.

First-five was the clear position that looked like a gaping hole in Robertson's side next year, with Richie Mo'unga signing for Toshiba for three years in the Japan Top League. 

Had Barrett followed suit or taken up a deal elsewhere, and walked away from the All Blacks, Damian McKenzie would have been the most experienced option at first-five.  

That's not to say McKenzie isn't capable of leading the All Blacks ship around. He has fast found his feet at test level and was brilliant off the bench for the All Blacks at the World Cup.

Beauden Barrett has committed to remain in New Zealand.
Beauden Barrett has committed to remain in New Zealand. Photo credit: Getty Images

Expect him to get plenty of opportunities to do so again over the next four years, but having Barrett's 123 tests of experience back in the fold will certainly be a boost to Robertson and his team.  

Just where he lands will be the next decision for Robertson to make.   

While the new boss will want to put his own flavour on the All Blacks, he inherits some decent experience as well. His front row is well established at test level and has been in the trenches together this year.  

Scott Barrett is already a world-class lock and will be a vitally experienced head for whoever partners him there. Josh Lord has shown good signs of growth and will flourish with regular minutes at test level under his belt.  

Dalton Papali'i, Sam Cane, Ethan Blackadder and Ardie Savea all have valuable test experience. As long as Blackadder can stay fit next year, he should be the nailed-on starter at blindside flanker.  

Cam Roigard showed the international arena doesn't phase him one bit and was desperately unlucky not to find a spot in Ian Foster's 23 for the business end of the World Cup.  

Robertson has a readymade midfield pairing in Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane, and with Anton Lienert-Brown and David Havili also still under contract with NZR, this department is likely to give him the least to mull over.  

No-one should be surprises to see Will Jordan shifted to his preferred position of fullback. He deserves the chance to own the All Blacks No.15 jersey for the next four years and, under Robertson, there'll be no experimenting with the country's best fullback on the right wing.

The outside backs remain flush, with Jordan, Mark Telea, Caleb Clarke, Emoni Narawa and Shaun Stevenson all committed to NZR.  

The left wing is a clear spot that's up for grabs next year, any one of Stevenson, Clarke or Narawa could grab it, or it could be where we see our first bolter of the Robertson era.  

With England first up on the agenda at what will no doubt be a packed Eden Park, there should be no real need for major personnel changes in Razor's first XV.  

Possible All Blacks side for first test against England: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Scott Barrett, 5-Josh Lord, 6-Ethan Blackadder, 7-Dalton Papali'i, 8-Ardie Savea, 9-Cam Roigard, 10-Beauden Barrett, 11-Shaun Stevenson, 12-Jordie Barrett, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Mark Telea, 15-Will Jordan

Ollie Ritchie is Newshub's rugby reporter