Andrew Mulligan: Mailbag - Could LeBron play for the All Blacks?

Fast, agile, 2.08m tall and 120kg, LeBron James would be a rugby superstar. Photo / AP
Fast, agile, 2.08m tall and 120kg, LeBron James would be a rugby superstar. Photo / AP

What has happened to Matt Duffie the ex-Melbourne league player bought by the Blues and last seen flying through the air after trying to tackle Nemani Nadolo? He was going to be the Blues answer at fullback after Charles Piutau left, but nothing had been heard of him for weeks. - Jeff

Far from the notion that Duffie exploded after Nadolo nailed him I think it's a simple case of Lolagi Visinia and Melani Nanai have just been better attacking options along with Rieko Ioane and Tevita Li on the wings. We will probably find him at the Warriors HQ with Glen Fisiiahi looking for minutes. Tana, we need proof of life.

What is a fair plus-minus for the year if the Warriors win the NRL title? I say 2028.5. - Dean

Given the Warriors have made the NRL final in twice in the past 21 years, I'd go overs on that line, Dean. When you think that Cronulla haven't won a title in decades and they were trying everything.

What is your favourite worst Warriors season? - Tim

This is turning into the worst for the simple fact that it was going to be a good one. A proper pre-season, a new captain, super star signings, solid core of experienced and youthful forwards and that spine. Being held scoreless in their most important game so far this season on Monday night was just the worst. Ironically enough there was little spine shown.Who wins a title first?

Which franchise wins a title first - The Warriors (NRL) or the Knicks? - Jack

You feel like banging your head against a brick wall if those are your teams, but given the way free agency works in the NBA and the attractiveness of New York as a market for stars to play in, I'd say the Knicks. NRL free agent stars don't seem to be banging down the door to get to Mt Smart Stadium.

Say LeBron James found out his father was born in Hamilton. 1) How quickly would we claim him as a New Zealander and 2) If he suddenly had a desire to play for the All Blacks, despite his age and lack of rugby experience, could he make a test side? - Hayden

LeBron would be an amazing blindside/lock. He's 2.08m tall and 120kg and the agility and athleticism would make him a superstar. He arrives in August after losing another NBA final and doesn't want to go to Rio for another gold medal. He gets into his work for Counties Manukau (he and SBW are close) in the Mitre 10 Cup and then is further developed by the Chiefs before debuting against the Lions in June next year. Totally plausible.

Does Tiger Woods win another major? - Blake


What is the ideal Super Rugby format? - Sven

I'm not sure the format can be fixed now the genie is out of the bottle, but there should be realignment with five African teams, five New Zealand teams, four Australian teams, the Jaguares, the Sunwolves and a new Apia or Suva-based team. Contraction and expansion needs to be revisited for the good of the game in the Southern Hemisphere the next time the broadcasting deal is up.

Did the Chiefs cheat by making the Hurricanes contest golden oldie scrums? - Dane, Kapiti Coast

No they didn't, but they definitely took advantage of the rules and good on them. Phil Cropper was accused of it when Canterbury played Auckland and it's not the first time a team has had to use it and it won't be the last unless World Rugby tweak the replacement rules around props. Still, kick your points and catch the ball then the Hurricanes would be grinning from ear-to-ear knowing their set piece smashed the Chiefs and they got the points.

- NZ Herald

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