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All Blacks Team to play Portugal



All Blacks team named today to play Portugal in their rugby World Cup pool C match at Lyon on Saturday:

Mils Muliaina, Isaia Toeava, Conrad Smith, Aaron Mauger, Joe Rokocoko, Nick Evans, Brendon Leonard, Sione Lauaki, Chris Masoe, Jerry Collins (captain), Ali Williams, Chris Jack, Greg Somerville, Andrew Hore, Neemia Tialata.

Reserves: Anton Oliver, Tony Woodcock, Carl Hayman, Rodney So'oialo, Keven Mealamu, Andy Ellis, Leon MacDonald
As expected, Henry & Co. have gone with major changes to the lineup, new captain. But still not happy with the cover for locks. Hope Flavell or Rawlinson are both fit incase they get an emergency call in the middle of the night to fly over especially with Robbo & Thorne still injured....and if Jack or Williams get injured in this game...NZ is f**ked in the second-row as Lauaki is covering that position as well.

As a precautionary measure, it would be wise to send both Flavell & Rawlinson North and put them in a London hotel.

Lineup against Portugal:

1. Neemia Tialata
2. Andrew Hore
3. Greg Somerville
4. Chris Jack
5. Ali Williams
6. Jerry Collins [C]
7. Chris Masoe
8. Sione Lauaki
9. Brendon Leonard
10. Nic Evans
11. Joe Rokocoko
12. Aaron Mauger
13. Conrad Smith
14. Isaia Toeava
15. Mils Muliaina

16. Anton Oliver, 17. Tony Woodcock, 18. Carl Hayman, 19. Rodney So'oialo, 20. Andy Ellis, 21. Leon McDonald, 22. Keven Mealamu

If one of the locks go down, Lauaki will cover them while So'oialo comes in at 8. Mealamu is covering for the flankers as well.
good to see the all blacks shuffling it around a bit. i don't think they will miss carter and mccaw
Its actually not much worse (and that could be purely opinionated) than the team that played Italy.

Interesting having Hayman cover Lock, and Mealamu cover Flanker.

They'd actually be pretty handy in those positions i reckon.

God I feel sorry for Portugal, that would have to be the most intimidating loose forward trio that could be assembled by any team for this worldcup!

There'll be some little Portuguese children having nightmares after the weekend!
Interesting seeing Hayman covernig locking duties and Mealamu covering the flank. I think i heard some commentators comment (Wales game or Aussie game) that the All Blacks only have 2 lineouts specialists and 3 over 6 foot 3 that cover jumping excluding Hayman.

Didnt Mealamu used to cover the flank before being converted to a hooker?
this from tvnz.


First choice props Tony Woodcock and Carl Hayman are on the bench with hooker Anton Oliver. The squad's other hooker Keven Mealamu will provide cover for the back row.

"There are a lot of front five forwards in the squad for this game, three hookers and four props," coach Graham Henry told a news conference.

Game time

"We need to give them more game time than anyone else and that is why they are all playing."

it's an interesting line up with ice on the wing will be interesting to see how he goes there. big lauaki gets a chance and he will be a handful for the portuguese guys. should still be a good enough team to win by plenty against portugal.
yeah, mealamu was a flanker before converting..

but putting him there would be like putting isaia toeava at 1st five (cos thats where he played at school)..
Good to see Isaia Toeava have a shot at wing.
Seeing as Howlett is leaving, maybe Toeava will ve the 3rd choice wing :)

I mean, Umaga converted nicely from the wing, so hopefully Ice will too :D
couldve easily put mils on the wing and ice at fullback i reckon, but im not complaining, it'll be good to see how ice goes on the wing.
yes howlett and gear are both leaving, we still have awesome wingers back home who can fill the void, its just means more of the sitivini and joe wing combo which is gonna be hectic lol

i really like the leonard and evans partnership too!
So who takes kicks for the All Blacks without Carter?

Sorry, my Rugby knowledge isn't too vast.
I thought this was a rather interesting article with regards to the scrum

The All Blacks will consider depowering their scrum in tomorrow's test against Portugal at the World Cup.

Scrum coach Mike Cron admits if safety becomes an issue the instruction will go out to take it easy on the Portuguese.


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