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All Blacks Rugby World Cup Squad Named Tuesday 50 views 4 Comments
21 August 2011 by The Swede Eaters
 
Connected with: Wiki Player Adam Thomson, Richie McCaw, Colin Slade

Who will make the All Blacks 30 man Rugby World Cup squad? Scotty Donaldson looks at the conundrum.

The All Blacks Tri Nations defeat to the Springboks was almost overshadowed by the trial nature of playing several fringe All Blacks as starters in an attempt to see if they can sink or swim at the top level.  Some players were shown up in the loss, most notably Colin Slade and Adam Thomson.  The outside backs is the biggest area of contention with nine players vying for seven spots (assuming Ted is going for a 14 backs-16 forwards split).  Other areas of interest from the defeat to the Springboks was how backup to the great Richie McCaw and Dan Carter would go and Adam Thomson and Colin Slade left selectors with more questions than answers.  
The jury is still out on the fifth loose forward, the fourth lock, fourth prop and third hooker.  


The main dilemma is the outside back position where we have Mils Muliaina, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Israel Dagg, Hosea Gear, Richard Kahui, Sonny Bill Williams, Cory Jane, Zac Guildford and Isaia Toeava.  Israel Dagg was awesome against South Africa, while you would think the Kahui, Toeava and Sonny Bill Williams did enough for inclusion.  Muliaina is being rested and is safe.  This leaves Guildford, Jane, Gear and Sivivatu to fight for two spots.  There will be some amazing talent missing from the All Blacks squad given that most of these guys can cover several positions.  


The other back positions will go to Carter, Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu obviously, with Colin Slade even though he was a mixed bag against South Africa and despite some great domestic form from Aaron Cruden.  The halfback spots will go to Jimmy Cowan and Andy Ellis, with Piri Weepu a utility player.


The loose forwards were hardly dominant against South Africa.  Kieran Read, Richie McCaw and Jerome Kaino pick themselves, while Adam Thomson is good enough, but given the way we were shown up at the breakdown by Springbok Heinrich Brussouw, there must be questions over the backup openside.  It is hard to know if Messam did enough to hold his jersey or if Vito has overtaken him.  Or will the selectors go for a bolter at openside in Luke Braid, John Hardie or Matt Todd?


Ali Williams showed his aerial ability against the Springboks.  Brad Thorn's muscle was missed against the Springboks.  Those two veterans are certainties.  The other options are probably safe with Sam Whitelock and Jarrad Hoeata likely to make the cut.  Tom Donnelly is the only other option with his ability in the air which would be useful if Ali Williams goes down.


The third hooker behind Keven Mealamu and Andrew Hore comes down to the toss of a coin with Corey Flynn most likely.  He isn't a long term option and you wonder if it would be better to go with Hika Elliot, given that this player will hardly be getting much game time hopefully.


The Franks brothers will make the squad, while Tony Woodcock looks like he is ready to return.  This leaves John Afoa vs Wyatt Crockett for the fourth spot.  I think Afoa should get the nod as he can play tighthead and while Crockett is amazing around the paddock, he can give away penalties at scrum time.


Who do you think will win the contentious outside back spots?  What about some of the other positions?  Have your say!

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Tags: All Blacks, Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Colin Slade, Israel Dagg, Hosea Gear, Cory Jane, Mils Muliaina



comment Comments (4)
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4 . Barcaldine Bunyips 23 Aug 2011 11:15 AM
Official announcement at 2pm in NZ but apparently it was pretty easy for the media in Sydney last night to see who got on the plane to Brisbane and who got on the plane home.

3 . LINDt 23 Aug 2011 01:33 AM
No Toeava, Gear or Woodcock? Very brave! Would love to see Cruden get another chance......

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2 . deep 22 Aug 2011 02:56 PM
Yeah, I'm a fan of Guilford too. Not as much punching power as a couple of others, but super hungry and 'johnny on the spot'. Injects himself all over to create try winning runs, and always there in support of others when they make breaks.

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1 . Michael Naqelevuki 22 Aug 2011 10:30 AM
My Squad
1. Ben franks
2. Kevin Mealumu
3. Owen Franks
4. Brad Thorn
5. Ali Williams
6. Jerome Kaino
7. Richie Mckaw
8. Kieran Read
9. Jimmy Cowan
10. Dan Carter
11. Sivivatu
12. Ma'a Nonu
13. Conrad Smith
14. Corey Jane
15. Mills Muliaina
16. Andrew Hore
17. wyatt Crockett
18. Sam Whitelock
19. Adam Thompson
20. Piri Weepu
21. Sonny Bill Williams
22. Israel Dagg
23. John Afoa
24. Corey Flynn
25. Jarred Hoeta
26. Liam Messiam
27. Andy Ellis
28. Colin Slade
29. Richard Kahui
30. Zac Guildford

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