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 All Blacks Squad Named

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 5:34 am

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/2460911/Muliaina-to-captain-All-Blacks

Three new caps and the absence of an "injured" Rodney So'oialo are the features of Graham Henry's squad of 26 for the Iveco Series named in Auckland today.

Chiefs openside flanker Tanerau Latimer, and Crusaders pair lock Isaac Ross and prop Wyatt Crockett are the three newcomers to international rugby named in a squad that is missing a who's who of New Zealand rugby.

And coach Graham Henry revealed today that So'oialo was among those not considered for selection because of neck problems.

There had been widespread speculation that the Hurricanes captain would not be selected on form alone, but Henry confirmed he would use the next month to get himself back into optimum physical shape.

All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina, who led his Chiefs team to this year's Super 14 final, has been named as captain of the All Blacks, replacing the injured Richie McCaw.

"Mils is in the leaders group in the All Blacks. He has done a fantastic job as captain of the Chiefs in the Super 14 and he has a great deal of respect and mana amongst his peers," Henry said.

Meanwhile, Hurricanes and Hawke's Bay lock Bryn Evans and Canterbury and Crusaders prop Owen Franks, who have been named in the Junior All Blacks squad today, have been called into the wider All Blacks training squad as lock and prop cover.

Players not considered due to injury include Crusaders captain Richie McCaw (knee), Chiefs winger Sitiveni Sivivatu (shoulder), Blues lock Anthony Boric (toe), Crusaders halfback Andy Ellis (ribs), Crusaders hooker Corey Flynn (forearm), Hurricanes loose forward Scott Waldrom (back), as well as Daniel Carter (Achilles).

Henry said So'oialo would be using this time out of the All Blacks to focus on rehabilitation for his neck injury.

"Rodney has had an incredibly demanding Super 14 season, starting in 13 of the Hurricanes matches this year and that follows several years of intense, top-level rugby. We are taking a proactive approach and giving him some time to recover and rehab."

Henry said So'oialo would return to the All Blacks for the Tri-Nations.

Henry said he and fellow coaches Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen were looking forward to kicking off the international season against the French and Italians.

"France will again be a difficult challenge for the All Blacks. They have picked their strongest squad available and history shows they are often successful against the All Blacks."

Henry also noted that French coach Marc Lievremont, when announcing his French team, had stated that they were coming to New Zealand to win.

"Italy will bring a different challenge. They will be well coached by the very experienced South African coach Nick Mallet and will bring a lot of physicality and scrummaging power to the contest," Henry said.

The first Test in the Iveco Series is in Dunedin on 13 June when the All Blacks play France. The second Test against the French is in Wellington on 20 June, followed by the one-off Test against Italy in Christchurch on 27 June.
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All Blacks Squad:

John Afoa - Auckland
Jimmy Cowan - Southland
Wyatt Crockett * - Canterbury
Stephen Donald - Waikato
Andrew Hore - Taranaki
Cory Jane - Wellington
Richard Kahui - Waikato
Jerome Kaino - Auckland
Tanerau Latimer * - Bay of Plenty
Brendon Leonard - Waikato
Keven Mealamu - Auckland
Liam Messam - Waikato
Mils Muliaina - Waikato
Ma'a Nonu - Wellington
Kieran Read - Canterbury
Josevata Rokocoko - Auckland
Isaac Ross * - Canterbury
Conrad Smith - Wellington
Adam Thomson - Otago
Brad Thorn - Canterbury
Neemia Tialata - Wellington
Isaia Toeava - Auckland
Piri Weepu - Wellington
Ali Williams - Auckland
Tony Woodcock - North Harbour
Rudi Wulf - North Harbour

* denotes new cap
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 5:37 am

Blues: 8
Chiefs: 6
Hurricanes: 6
Crusaders: 4
Highlanders: 2
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 5:39 am

Pretty decent squad, hope most the injured players are fit and ready come trinations time or else we could be in a bit of trouble especially against South Africa.

Jamie Mackintosh should be there, I reckon he has been one of the more in form props, certainly better than Tialata and Afoa. Other than that not many over players I would put in there.

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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 5:50 am

Junior All Blacks

Ryan Crotty - Canterbury
Israel Dagg - Hawke’s Bay
Aled de Malmanche - Waikato
Tom Donnelly - Otago
Jason Eaton - Taranaki
Hikawera Elliot - Hawke’s Bay
Jacob Ellison - Wellington
Tamati Ellison - Wellington
Bryn Evans - Hawke’s Bay
Ben Franks Tasman
Owen Franks - Canterbury
Robert Fruean - Wellington
Hosea Gear - Wellington
Sione Lauaki - Waikato
Karl Lowe - Wellington
Luke McAlister - North Harbour
Jamie Mackintosh - Southland
Lelia Masaga - Counties Manukau
Alby Mathewson - Wellington
Rene Ranger - Northland
Colin Slade - Canterbury
Chris Smylie - North Harbour
Jeremy Thrush - Wellington
Anthony Tuitavake - North Harbour
George Whitelock - Canterbury
Victor Vito - Wellington

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 6:09 am

Tuitavake and Masaga should feel a bit short-changed to only make the Juniors - Masaga especially. Rapt that Jane made the ABs

Huge number of Hurricanes Region players there - but Robert Fruean, wtf?!?! He only played 1 game for the Canes!!!
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 6:27 am

Wulf?? How did he make it. he doesn't deserve that spot imo.
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 9:27 am

ABs

1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore
3. Nemia Tialata
4. Brad Thorn
5. Ali Williams
6. Adam Thompson
7. Tanerau Latimer
8. Liam Messam
9. Piri Weepu
10. Stephen Donald
11. Jo Rocokoco
12. Ma'a Nonu
13. Conrad Smith
14. Rudi Wulf
15. Mils Muliaina

Junior ABs

1. Jamie Mackintosh
2. Aled de Malmanche
3. Ben Franks
4. Jeremy Thrush
5. Jason Eaton
6. Victor Vito
7. Karle Lowe
8. Sione Lauaki
9. Alby Mathewson
10. Luke McAlister
11. Rene Ranger
12. Tamati Ellison
13. Anthony Tuitavake
14. Lelia Masaga
15. Israel Dagg


Last edited by samthaman15 on Sun May 31, 2009 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 9:57 am

LOL - So'oialo's not in the ABs samthaman Smile

Messam will likely be playing there.

I'm picking Thomson, Latimer, Messam as the 6, 7, 8 combo - Read on the bench but competing with Thomson. Kaino out in the cold.
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 10:03 am

Wops i missed that! haha yea Messam Should be
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 10:41 am

Heard that Kaino may start at 8 with Messam on the bench. Thompson and Latimer the 6 & 7.

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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeSun May 31, 2009 11:27 am

Yeah, Kaino will probably be the starting 8 - but he doesn't deserve to be there at all.
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeTue Jun 02, 2009 1:42 am

Pantherus wrote:
Yeah, Kaino will probably be the starting 8 - but he doesn't deserve to be there at all.

Have to disagree there Pantherus. Kaino has been made to look below par by the average season of the team around him and without the support of a genuine 7 with Blackie being hampered by injury.

He was hugely impressive for the AB's last year, enough to start 13 tests and for McCaw to publicly single him out for praise during the TriNations. Thats a hell of an endorsement. I'd back him to lift several notches for the internationals.

And when you consider that even with only 15 caps, he has played more tests than all the other looseforwards combined, I'd much rather have him in the team, than out of it.
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeTue Jun 02, 2009 4:05 am

My pick for the initial 22 to face France (assuming Williams is injured)

15-Muliaina
14-Rockocoko
13-Smith
12-Nonu
11-Kahui
10-Donald
9-Cowan
8-Messam
7-Thomson
6-Kaino
5-Ross
4-Thorn
3-Tialata
2-Hore
1-Woodcock

16-Jane
17-Toeava
18-Weepu
19-Mealamu
20-Afoa
21-Read
22-Messam

With Sivivatu injured and Wulf yet to really shine, I'd go with Kahui on the wing where he played well last year. Weepu could cover both 9 & 10 off the bench which would allow an extra outside back like Jane to slot in.

And with no other locking options, I'm guessing Kaino will fill the back up role which means room for two loosies on the bench - so have gone for Read and Messam over Latimer who I'm still not convinced of to be honest.
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeTue Jun 02, 2009 4:16 am

It's not the side I want, but the side I think they will pick - for the first test at least...

1. Woodcock
2. Hore
3. Afoa
4. Thorn
5. Ross
6. Kaino
7. Latimer
8. Messam
9. Cowan
10. Donald
11. Rokocoko
12. Nonu
13. Smith
14. Wulf
15. Muliaina (c)

16. Mealamu
17. Tialata
18. Evans
19. Thomson
20. Weepu
21. Kahui
22. Toeava

Coaches have all but confirmed that Evans is going to be on the bench for the first game assuming Williams isn't fit, it's hard for me to see them bringing only 2 specialist wings into the squad if they're not going to play them both - Jane is the really unlucky one here really, with Mils as captain he has little to no chance of getting game time unless he's slotted onto the wing - I can only hope the consider him ahead of Wulf...

They also made it clear that they consider Messam the leading 8 contender with So'oialo out which suggests they want to keep Kaino at 6; and with Thomson the secondary 7 behind Latimer, he's the logical bench player since Kaino and Messam can both cover 8 and 6, leaving Read out in the cold.
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PostSubject: Re: All Blacks Squad Named   All Blacks Squad Named Icon_minitimeTue Jun 02, 2009 5:57 am

puhLease, Janes lucky to make it in ahead of Dagg. with Mils as captain it woulda been perfect to trial some new blood. janes predictable in his attack and a bit suspect on D. Dagg has got balls and has huge heart, kind of reminds me of Cullens heart and reflexes

bit iffy bout crokett making it in. he's all right round the park but dodgy when he's under pressure in the scrums, his technique goes out the window and he has a curved back
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