Muliaina named captain for Iveco Series

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by Flux, May 31, 2009.

  1. Flux

    Flux Guest

    Veteran test fullback Mils Muliaina will captain the All Blacks in the upcoming Iveco Series, with 2008 vice-captain Rodney So'oialo being rested for the side's first three internationals of the season.

    All Black head coach Graham Henry confirmed his 26-strong squad for the internationals against France and Italy, a squad featuring newcomers Tanerau Latimer, Wyatt Crockett and Isaac Ross.

    Muliaina has been named as captain, filling in for the injured Richie McCaw who has been sidelined with a knee injury.

    "Mils is in the leaders group in the All Blacks," Henry said.

    "He has done a fantastic job as captain of the Chiefs in the Rebel Sport Super 14 and he has a great deal of respect and mana amongst his peers."

    Uncapped Chiefs flanker Latimer has been named as the man to replace McCaw in the All Blacks' No 7 jersey.

    So'oailo was the notable ommission.

    After captaining the side in McCaw's absence in 2008, the All Black selectors have opted to rest him for the side's first three tests of the year.

    So'oialo's form faded in the latter stages of the just-finished Rebel Sport Super 14.

    Henry said that So'oialo had not been dropped, saying he had a neck injury he was in the process of rehabbing from.

    He would be selected for the Tri Nations, which begins in July.

    "Rodney has had an incredibly demanding Rebel Sport Super 14 season, starting in 13 of the Hurricanes matches this year and that follows several years of intense, top-level rugby," Henry said.

    "We are taking a proactive approach and giving him some time to recover and rehab."

    Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper stated in the lead-up to the knock-out stage that he had not given his captain enough time to recuperate both physically and mentally during the season.

    Despite having a quiet Super 14, Henry has retained his faith in Blues loose forward Jerome Kaino.

    He is an option, along with Liam Messam and Kieran Read, to play No 8 in So'oialo's absence.

    Henry confirmed a recall for the solid Rudi Wulf.

    He was first named in the All Blacks for last year's Iveco Series and then the Tri Nations, but was unwanted for the season-ending tour.

    Jane returns after going on last year's season-ending tour.

    He has continued his strong development with the Hurricanes in the Super 14.

    The three newcomers had been largely telegraphed prior to the team naming at 2pm.

    Ross has impressed for the Crusaders and was the logical choice to nail down the third locking berth in the squad.

    Crockett was a rock in the front-row for the Crusaders, while Latimer was the leading contender to replace both McCaw and the injured Scott Waldrom at openside for the All Blacks.

    "All three players have been in outstanding form in this year's Rebel Sport Super 14 and we feel they are ready for the international stage," Henry said.

    "I want to congratulate all three on being selected for the All Blacks."

    Henry confirmed that 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, have been called into the wider All Blacks training squad as lock and prop cover.

    All Blacks squad: Mils Muliaina ©, John Afoa, Jimmy Cowan, Wyatt Crockett, Stephen Donald, Andrew Hore, Cory Jane, Richard Kahui, Jerome Kaino, Brendon Leonard, Tanerau Latimer, Keven Mealamu, Liam Messam, Ma'a Nonu, Kieran Read, Joe Rokocoko, Isaac Ross, Conrad Smith, Adam Thomson, Brad Thorn, Neemia Tialata, Isaia Toeava, Piri Weepu, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock, Rudi Wulf.
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  3. jawmalawm24

    jawmalawm24 Guest

    Pretty boring All Blacks they're still playing it safe with only 3 new caps but the juniors looks good. I wouldn't mind seeing a All Blacks vs Junior All Blacks game that'll be a match to see. Robert Fruean only played once and he's in. I heard he's the next big thing I hope he can take a good shot at it.

    No David Smith I thought he might of at least got a mention if only he was a bit taller they'd show him more love but just like they said about Masaga he's a very exciting player but at international level needs just a few more set of skillz to make that step up.
  4. bjok

    bjok Guest

    How can they appoint a captain with the intellect of a common tree gibbon? Henry has lost the plot. Nonu & Toeava in the centres??? What are they thinking? It's not a f***in coconut juggling competition. Unless they flush out some of the social welfare dependants the ABs are gonna get outsmarted by 'Rob the man' in the WC!!!!!
  5. William18

    William18 Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (bjok @ Jun 14 2009, 03:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Who would you have picked as captain. There were not many options.
  6. aligmacd123

    aligmacd123 Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (William18 @ Jun 14 2009, 01:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Who would you have picked as captain. There were not many options.
    Ali Williams or Tony Woodcock...more likely Ali Williams
  7. dundeesmiffy

    dundeesmiffy Guest

    Well, maybe this will give Mils a chance to play at 13. I remember reading he prefers playing in the center although he's regarded as "the best positional fullback in the world".
  8. William18

    William18 Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (alexmac @ Jun 14 2009, 08:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Who would you have picked as captain. There were not many options.
    Ali Williams or Tony Woodcock...more likely Ali Williams
    Well, Williams is injured and Woodcock has no prior experience. Besides most props aren't too smart.
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