Gonna go ahead put my vote out there for Cleary to move Tedesco to five-eighth. I’d give Rankin one more game, but if he doesn’t impress I’d give Teddy the 6. Sure, he doesn’t have the ball skills of Moylan, but he has a serviceable short kicking game, and if we can get Lolohea across early (or even if we can’t) we can get him working on combinations with Brooks and the backs.
Our attacking shape would be a mess, but having Brooks playing both sides with Teddy running off him and Nofo/Lolohea off him at least gives us some punch, and hopefully means we can feed Suli a bit earlier if Ted is one more pass infield.
Yes, it’s weakening one position to strengthen another, but if all Teddy is going to do this year is tuck it under his arm and run then I think we’re better off with him at 6, and also puts more pressure on defenders to mark Teddy and Nofo/Tui (and Suli and Marsters outside them). And on that, means we can bring up Esan and see if he can make it as a top flight centre or if we need to consider shifting him back to the back row. Kev vs MWZ is a judgment call, but Naiqama’s been good with Suli inside him and has the team experience on his side.