All Blacks Squad Named

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by TRF_nickdnz, May 30, 2010.

  1. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    Forwards:
    Anthony Boric - North Harbour (13)
    Aled de Malmanche - Waikato (2)
    Tom Donnelly - Otago (6)
    Ben Franks - Tasman (uncapped)
    Owen Franks - Canterbury (9)
    Jerome Kaino - Auckland (25)
    Richie McCaw (capt) - Canterbury (80)
    Keven Mealamu - Auckland (71)
    Kieran Read - Canterbury (16)
    Adam Thomson - Otago (15)
    Brad Thorn - Canterbury (37)
    Neemia Tialata - Wellington (41)
    Victor Vito - Wellington
    Tony Woodcock - North Harbour (61)

    Backs:
    Daniel Carter - Canterbury (66)
    Jimmy Cowan - Southland (33)
    Aaron Cruden - Manawatu
    Israel Dagg - Hawke's Bay
    Zac Guildford - Hawke's Bay (2)
    Cory Jane - Wellington (12)
    Richard Kahui - Waikato (8)
    Mils Muliaina - Waikato (82)
    Josevata Rokocoko - Auckland (60)
    Conrad Smith - Wellington (33)
    Benson Stanley - Auckland
    Piri Weepu - Wellington (35)

    Pitty there is no Hosea Gear, but still a good squad.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
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  3. TyphoonsRugby

    TyphoonsRugby Member

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    1 Neemia Tialata
    2 Keven Mealamu
    3 Owen Franks

    4 Brad Thorn
    5 Tom Donnelly

    6 Jerome Kaino
    7 Richie McCaw (c)
    8 Kieran Read

    9 Jimmy Cowan

    10 Dan Carter
    12 Benson Stanley
    13 Conrad Smith

    11 Joe Rokocoko
    14 Cory Jane
    15 Mils Muliaina

    16 Aled de Malmanche
    17 Ben Franks
    18 Anthony Boric
    19 Victor Vito
    20 Piri Weepu
    21 Aaron Cruden
    22 Israel Dagg

    Ill admit it, I'm not dead certain we'll win the Tri-Nations this year.....
     
  4. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    This is just for the June Series, we'll have plenty of talent back before the Tri Nations. You pick Tialata over Woodcock?
     
  5. TyphoonsRugby

    TyphoonsRugby Member

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    Didnt notice Timberdick down the bottom of the forwards list, was a bit surprised he wasnt there. damn lack of sleep.......
     
  6. lynam1104

    lynam1104 Senior Member

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    i had no idea who Timberdick was for few seconds:D
     
  7. Charles

    Charles Senior Member

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    Can't believe Hosea Gear is not there...
     
  8. Conal

    Conal Senior Member

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    horsea gear great player
    what happend to rico gear as well he was quality
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  9. TRF C A Iversen

    TRF C A Iversen Rugby Gaming Nut

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    There's something the selectors just don't like about Hosea, no matter how much he has improved. Maybe they want the backline penetration skills of Rokocoko, who is every bit the electric live-wire he was when he started out. Yes, I'm being sarcastic.
     
  10. Darwin

    Darwin AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    rice (Rico?) Gear played for Worcester Warriors this season, but I think he has just signed with a Japanese club.

    On the AB's squad:
    A few genuine surprises (to me) in the All Blacks squad.
    Props: Best four props in the country - glad they gave Ben Frank a shot over Afoa, who is a favorite of the selectors. I'd imagine Afoa will be spending his days practicing lineout throwing, as there seems to be a big push to convert him into a hooker.
    Hookers: Not surprised at de Malmances selection. He's an incredibly powerful ball runner, its just a pity he can't throw the ball straight! However, I still have a feeling that Flynn is the preferred backup to Mealamu. I think he has been selected in the Maori squad to get some game time that he wouldn't otherwise get sitting on the bench for the AB's (given he has played only a few games this year due to injury) - I'd be very surprised if he wasn't in the AB's squad come the trinations.
    Locks: No surprises - sounds like Donnelly will miss at least the first match (vs Ireland) with Sam Whitelock in the squad as cover
    Loosies: Again, no surprises.
    Halfbacks/first-fives: I group these together as by all accounts they have been selected as a 'package'. Cowan/Carter were obviously going to be selected, but the selection of Weepu & Cruden are obviuosly surprises - I expected them to be starting for the Maori. Weepu has been pretty poor this year (in fact for quite a few years in my opinion) - I'd probably rate him behind Ellis, Fotuali'i, Cowan, Mathewson on form this year (and probably only on par with Keats and Leonard). He has, however, performed for the AB's in the past, and he does possess some skills that other NZ halfbacks don't possess - goalkicking in particular. The AB's selectors obviously think they can get the best out of him (and at his best he is a very good player), and with the selection of Cruden they need someone who can kick goals. I do feel sorry for Mathewson who was outstanding this year. Cruden's selection is a bold move by the (usually) conservative coaches - he's very talented but I don't think he's ready for this level yet (though I hope to be proven wrong!).
    Centres: Stanley was always going to be be selected with all the injuries, he is a good solid player though who certainly won't let the team down. Kahui makes it on reputation rather than any form, as he's been poor this year.
    Wings/Fullbacks: Jane, Muliana, Rococoko, and Guilford were always going to be selected. I was interested to see them select Dagg - his selection points towards a more attacking gameplan this year, as he is a very exciting player. His goalkicking is an added bonus. I'm not surprised at the omission of Hosea Gear, as the AB's selectors have always looked for wingers with high workrate, and despite improving in this area Gear can still go missing in games. I think, however, Gear will be very close to making the Tri-nations squad as he will be starting for the Maori team, and he always seems to play outstandingly for them.
     
  11. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    I'll give my 2c towards the team.

    Props:
    Tony Woodcock: Good selections, solid player who's not had his best season but offers a lot of experience and is a safe option up front.
    Neemia Tialata: Was always going to be in the squad, another safe selection. Not a great long term option however shouldn't be a risk either.
    Owen Franks: The prop whom we need to give the most amount of time on the field. Has a lot of good potential and no real downsides to his game. Should hope to see more of him this year.
    Ben Franks: Another good prospect like Owen, had a good S14 season behind a dominant Crusaders scrum. Still pretty young for a prop, so plenty of time to develop him.

    Hookers:
    Kevin Mealamu: Obvious selection, no one else would do after Hore's injury. Good work rate and leadership. Good lineout thrower and scrummager. Safe and good selection.
    Aled de Malmanche: Despite a great season from Rutledge, I'm actually fairly pleased that Aled was selected. He does need to work on his lineout throwing, however a problem with New Zealand is that we tend to pick players who will be at their prime for the RWC, and then go overseas for a big contract as their careers will be nearing it's end anyway and they probably wont see another RWC. Rutledge is 32 years old. While it would have been nice to see him included on form, and an end of year tour isn't out of the picture, I think Aled's selection is a better long term option, especially considering his work rate and power is all very good.

    Locks:
    Brad Thorn: Automatic selection. Best current lock in New Zealand. Great work rate and leadership, he tends to motivate his team especially when playing in the AB's. Lineout is average, but has backup in other capable locks and loose forwards.
    Tom Donnelly: Was impressed with his form last year and a very good end of year tour. Does that basics well. Surprised he was selected as he hasn't had much time with the Highlanders due to injury and is still recovering, despite this I think it was a solid selection and his selection for the AB's last year should now be paying off.
    Anthony Boric: His role in the AB's I believe to be a place holder for either Ali William's return or the rise of Whitelock or even Isaac Ross. Offers nothing other than being solid. Won't set the world on fire, but wont mess up too badly either. Safe (in not too safe) selection.

    Loose Forwards:
    Richie McCaw: Because we don't have any other decent openside flankers who can play at the moment and Richie is the best openside flanker in the world and is captain.
    Jerome Kaino: He's come off his best season so far in the Super 14 and should add a bit of grunt to what is an otherwise athletic and mobile loose forward trio.
    Adam Thompson: I rate the guy fairly highly, however I think we are over stocked in the loose forward compartment. Had a good season and is a good fetcher and ball runner, however I think he isn't hard enough for the blindside flank, not a good enough fetcher for the openside flank, and not good enough off the flank for #8. Seems destined to be on the bench for RWC. He is a good lineout jumper however.
    Victor Vito: Great new selection. He is a fast runner of the ball, but over this S14, he has developed into a good blineside flanker and #8. He has gained the hardness he needs to play international rugby while maintaining his athleticism. He can also jump in the lineout which I think the AB's will take advantage of.

    Halfback:
    Jimmie Cowan: Another safe selection. Jimmie Cowan is a good defender, an average kicker, a good passer and has good leadership. Not a player who I believe should be starting halfbacks for the AB's however he works well with Daniel Carter.
    Peri Weepu: Many feel he is taking the place of Alby Mathewson, who has had a great season at S14. I can see the exact only reason why Weepu was chosen over Mathewson. Because Aaron Cruden is still suspect on goal kicking, Weepu will be brought in to kick the ball over the posts. Weepu is a talented player and has moments of magic however is often inconsistent. He will be played from the bench which will encourage his status as "impact sub". Not a poor choice however I would have preferred Mathewson.

    Fly Half:
    Daniel Carter: He's one of the best, if not the best fly half in the world. He's had an average Super 14 season however he shines when he is in the All Black jersey and is an obvious first selection for the All Blacks.
    Aaron Cruden: Biggest surprise selection for me, seeing how Henry and co are usually very conservative in their selections. Right now I don't think he is good enough to be a RWC All Black, however by putting him in the AB's he should develop nicely by the time the RWC arrives. My only hope is that Henry has patience with him, because he is bound to make mistakes. Best backup to Carter we have at the moment.

    Centre:
    Benson Stanley: Had an impressive S14. The general opinion is that he is only in the squad because everyone else in injured, however I believe that he has plenty to offer the AB's and at the very least, he won't make mistakes. He is a very powerful defender and won't hurt the AB's. Still, I imagine by the time the RWC comes around, and McAlister and Nonu are back to form, he will not be selected.
    Conrad Smith: He's had yet another great season as the Hurricanes few consistent players (other than Cory Jane & Hosea Gear). Best defending centre in the world and a good attacker as well. He'd be an automatic selection.
    Richard Kahui: He's had a poor season for the Chiefs, however while many criticize his selection it comes down to, who else is fit? He showed he has plenty of potential last year and the year before, now he needs to prove why he should be in the AB squad for the RWC.

    Wing:
    Joe Rokocoko: Yes, it's his number one fan reviewing him, so it may be bias however...He has had his best Super 14 season so far with 9 tries (tied as highest try scorer I believe, but I could be wrong). He was told to improve on several areas which include catching which he has done, as well as scoring plenty of tries like the Joe of old, which he has done. It's a good selection and I'm happy he has regained his squad.
    Zac Guildford: I am tired listening to 45 year old men in bars pointing to Zac and saying "this kids got a future" like they're the ones who have discovered him. He's good. Not great. Good. He finishes off tries nicely. He is pretty quick and I must admit I was impressed with him in the S14 semi final, chasing down Spies. I would not put Guildford in my starting line-up for the RWC. That being said, they way Henry seems to like him, as well as the fans, I'm betting he will be starting come the RWC.

    Fullback:
    Cory Jane: No he is not a wing. Cory Jane is the most consistently good fullback this year. He is good in defence but is most prominent in attack. He has very good instincts and takes chances that pay off. He is also very comfortable under the high ball. No real problems in his game and i expect him to have overtaken Mils as the #1 fullback by the RWC.
    Mils Muliaina: Hasn't had a very long or consistent Super 14, however he is the second most capped AB of all time and offers a load of experience as well as plenty of skill when he is in form. Last year he had a very good season which providing he gets over his injury, I expect him to be NZ's best backup. His ability to play Centre and Wing may see him played more often from the bench.
    Israel Dagg: Has had a promising S14 season which has seen him make the AB's. He can goal kick, which will give him an advantage over other fullbacks, however the form of Cory Jane and experience of Mils, should see Israel Dagg play a mainly back up role to the other two. That being said, he has plenty of fans and a lot of talent. No obvious flaws to his game however I feel his is a little suspect on defence. Good addition. It will be interesting to see what till happen when Sivivatu is fit again, and which wing/fullback will be given the boot.
     
  12. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    Nick's complaints:
    Overall, despite how some people are losing faith in the AB's with this squad, I think Henry has picked a good enough squad with an element of risk within his usual conservative approach. Players who were deemed unlucky are: Steven Brett, Sam Whitelock (joined training group), Luke McAlister, Alby Mathewson, Hosea Gear, Rene Ranger, Rodney So'oialo and Jasonn Rutledge.

    Steven Brett: He can have moments of brilliance followed by moments of idiocy. I think he is good but needs to develop and I see Cruden as a better backup to Carter. He's playing for NZ Maori side, so he still has time to prove himself.
    Sam Whitelock: He's joined wider training group and will likely either be in the Tri Nations or end of year tour.
    Luke McAlister: Needs more game time, most likely to join Tri Nations. Playing for NZ Maori.
    Rodney So'oialo: Played for Barbarians. Had an average Super 14. Still a solid player however he's lost a lot of his impact and doesn't seem to be starting #8 material anymore.
    Alby Mathewson: Very unlucky not to be selected for the team. Will probably be selected for the end of year tour where he won't have enough time to make an impact for the RWC.
    Rene Ranger: Dangerous player with a lot of potential. Providing he can get the mistakes out of his game, he could make the AB end of year tour. Playing with NZ Maori, so has a chance to prove himself.
    Hosea Gear: Hosea Gear is the player who consistently is left out. He is pure power and pace. He is solid if not unspectacular under the high ball and he can't kick very well. He is NZ's fom winger for the last 2 seasons and to have been given this few opportunities I believe to be a crime. He for me is the biggest and worse omission of the squad and the worst thing is, he'll eventually go overseas and perform really well over there because of a lack of opportunity, and then Graham will have a whinge about how New Zealand has a lack of depth. Really sad to see him miss out.
    Jason Rutledge: Had a good Super 14 and besides Hore, was NZ's form hooker. The problem is, he's 32, and by the time the RWC is over, he will be finished, and other prospects wont have been developed. I'd like to see him get an AB game on the over seas tour, but he was a good omission in my opinion.

    Who ever reads all that...
     
  13. Darwin

    Darwin AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    Ben Smith and Rene Ranger have been called into the squad as cover for Muliana and Kahui. I think being in the AB's environment for a week or so could be very beneficial for Ranger - despite having more than a few rough edges, he is incredibly talented.
     
  14. TyphoonsRugby

    TyphoonsRugby Member

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    Isnt Ben Smith playing 12 for the Baa-Baas? Im guessing hes been called in as cover for 12.
     
  15. Darwin

    Darwin AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    Yeah he is playing at 12 for the Baa-baas. He also played at 12 for his club in the weekend (apparently for the first time in 3-4 years) - he went really well there too by all accounts. He certainly has the skills to play in the mid-field (he usually plays at 13 for his club) - it will be interesting to see how he goes head-to-head against MacAlister in the Baa-baas v Maori game (assuming MacAlister is fit enough to play!).
     
  16. alexrugby

    alexrugby Senior Member

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    Famous faces collected for glorious triumphs :)))))) good luck all blacks

    These names make me to stand pro-ABs honestly
     
  17. sambãd5

    sambãd5 Member

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    man, how unlucky was alby mathewson? hes had an amazing season. reading in the paper, it looks like they choose the "best" halfback in cowan, then weepu because aparantly, hes put in a rigiourous training regime for himself to make himself fit... yeah i dont know how that beats superior form from mathewson either. chances of him being called up as 3rd halfback due to injury?


    also ranger was unlucky. good to se him being brought in as cover. needs the enviroment to develop
     
  18. Darwin

    Darwin AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    Yeah Mathewson was really unlucky - he was by far the best New Zealand halfback during the Super 14. However, I would be surprised if he doesn't manage to get into the squad sometime during the year though (perhaps he should take up goalkicking :)).
     
  19. ranger

    ranger Senior Member

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    I can see why Weepu was picked up.

    Obviously his goal kicking prowess was a factor, but more importantly than that he seems to be one of the only players in NZ with a big game temperament. He thrives on pressure, like in the Canes vs Sharks match this year when he had that sideline conversion to tie the match up in the last few minutes of the game. He just rocked up and banged it over nonchalantly like he was at practice, the guy has ice in his veins.
    He is the kind of guy that all the other players listen to when he starts talking, he isn't a leader in the traditional sense that is good at making tactical decisions, talking to the referee and making aftermatch speeches etc. But hes got a presence about him that all the other players take note of, hes the kind of guy we needed in the 07 quarterfinal to gather the backs in and say "allright you cnuts, settle down. don't worry about the ref, this is what we are going to do..". With all these young players coming in to the squad you need players with authority around otherwise things start falling apart. I think those intangible attributes are the reason that Graham Henry wants him around.

    Added to that he brings something different to the table in the halfback position, he is the only "playmaker type" halfback in NZ. The kind that could cover 1st 5 aswell as halfback. He is exceptionally strong and is able to break tackles in static situations. NZ will have 3 halfbacks in the world cup squad and at the moment those 3 look to be;

    Cowan: Whose main strengths are Tactical Kicking, Tenacity and Defence
    Weepu: Playmaking, Versatility and Leadership
    Mathewson: Running and Passing

    I think that is a great mix to be honest.
     
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