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NZ test squad for the England series named- no surprises, 2 debutants, Kaino back in black.

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NZ test squad for the England series named- no surprises, 2 debutants, Kaino back in black. Empty NZ test squad for the England series named- no surprises, 2 debutants, Kaino back in black.

Post by Taylorman Sun 1 Jun - 3:29

http://www.allblacks.com/Video/Viewer/20517/all-blacks-squad-announced-for-2014-steinlager-series

Hookers
Dane Coles (Wellington / Hurricanes, 15)
Keven Mealamu (Auckland / Blues, 110)

Props
Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury / Crusaders, 24)
Charlie Faumuina (Auckland / Blues 17)
Ben Franks (Hawke’s Bay / Hurricanes, 31)
Owen Franks (Canterbury, Crusaders, 54)
Tony Woodcock (North Harbour/ Blues, 107)

Locks
Dominic Bird (Canterbury / Crusaders, 1)
Brodie Retallick (Bay of Plenty, Chiefs, 24)
Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland / Blues)
Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury/ Crusaders, 51)

Loose Forwards
Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, Chiefs, 14)
Jerome Kaino (Auckland / Blues, 48)
Richie McCaw (c) (Canterbury / Crusaders, 124)
Liam Messam (Waikato / Chiefs, 29)
Kieran Read (Canterbury, Crusaders, 61)
Victor Vito (Wellington / Hurricanes, 22)

Backs

Halfbacks
Tawera Kerr–Barlow (Waikato / Chiefs, 14)
TJ Perenara (Wellington / Hurricanes)
Aaron Smith (Manawatu / Highlanders, 26)

First five–eighths
Beauden Barrett (Taranaki / Hurricanes, 16)
Aaron Cruden (Manawatu / Chiefs, 29)
Colin Slade (Canterbury / Crusaders (11)

Midfielders
Ryan Crotty (Canterbury / Crusaders, 5)
Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland / Highlanders)
Ma’a Nonu (Wellington / Blues, 88)
Conrad Smith (Wellington / Hurricanes, 75)

Outside backs
Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay / Crusaders, 38)
Cory Jane (Wellington / Hurricanes, 45)
Julian Savea (Wellington / Hurricanes, 20)
Ben Smith (Otago / Highlanders, 26)

This squad is probably 95% of the likely world cup squad so the prep for that really starts now.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sun 1 Jun - 6:38

Really pleased for Tuipulotu.

Well done Taylorman for putting up the province as well.

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Post by Taylorman Sun 1 Jun - 7:09

Odd though..one back in Nonu, and hes from Wellington, and the other in Feterika, and hes a Highlander. And five forwards, the area we're not so strong.

As far as the World cup squad, only SBW, Carter. Piatau, Romano and maybe Luatua to be considered? Otherwise thats largely it I'd say.


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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Sun 1 Jun - 10:06

No real surprises there. Hope Luatua doesn't take it too hard and looks at Vito for inspiration as to how to put your head down and work on specific areas.

Any news on Savea and Woodcock Tman?

Picked that squad apart from Tuipulotu and really happy for him. Romano to come back and that'll be at the expense of Bird I think.

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Post by The Saint Sun 1 Jun - 13:24

I think that back-row might actually be better than SAs! Is Luatua injured or just left out?

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Sun 1 Jun - 14:21

Left out Saint.

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Post by The Saint Sun 1 Jun - 15:40

When you leave a guy like that out I think it shows great strength in depth in that area.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Sun 1 Jun - 17:24

Cruden had his worst game for the Chiefs so it'll be interesting what the selectors make of that. Might even see Slade replace him and Barrett starting. Will be interesting to see whether Nonu can continue his impressive form. The whole backline is in form in fact.

Still question marks over the scrum and the calibre of the depth in hookers, where we only have two, and props. McCaw will be under the spotlight to gauge his current worth and Read to see whether he's fully right.

Can't wait to see how they merge together and perform!

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Post by dallym Sun 1 Jun - 21:33

Such a good squad. Happy to see Slade back. Would be nice to see him get some game time, but may not happen with the alternatives being Beaudy and Cruden

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Post by Taylorman Mon 2 Jun - 1:18

With those 3 10's and still awaiting a rejuvenated DC that's ridiculous. Cruden needs to play to get game time so Hansen could easily start him then bench him if things arent going great, or, start beaudy and put Cruden on if the results safe.

Either way he has to play because so much of the last 12 months gameplan has revolved around him, and if he fires things start falling into place a lot quicker.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 3 Jun - 2:20

Read, Cane & possibly Savea are out of the First Test

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news/article.cfm?c_id=80&objectid=11266745

Read's concussion issue is a longer term concern. given the recent focus on the problems such injuries can cause.

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Post by Taylorman Tue 3 Jun - 3:09

Yeah saw that. Best to be sure with Read. A McCaw, Kaino, Messam is probably the form back 3 anyway.

Dagg, Smith and Jane at the back makes it a bit lightweight and maybe gives Fekitoa bench time. Piatau is the loss with Savea out.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Tue 3 Jun - 6:08

It's good they're taking the cautious approach with him and he was a bit underdone anyway. He's a big loss but it's not necessarily a bad thing to have cover for him. Don't know who will be on the bench - Vito or Todd - but that's not a bad starting backrow and McCaw might do less of the grunt work with Kaino there.

Savea on the other hand is a huge loss. He was in great form so I hope he still makes the series.

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Post by Taylorman Tue 3 Jun - 7:40

yes Savea has really come along way since his Ireland debut. So much more dimension to his game in such a short time. Im not convinced with Jane yet. Hes slipped in the back door with a flood of good ball coming his way with the recent Canes matches. No doubt about his smarts, just not sure about his pace...or passion.

A Jane, B and C Smith and Dagg back 4 must be amongst the smallest for decades surely. Add in Barrett and Aaron Smith and Nonu looks an absolute colossus in that backline. Fekitoa's going to have to figure in there somewhere surely?

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Tue 3 Jun - 8:00

If you think Conrad Smith looks small and seems even more so when you realise he despises gym work, I've always thought Ben Smith looks even scrawnier. But there's something about both players that sees them either underestimated or at least misjudged. I think back to the Argentina test last year where we needed an all important bonus point with a few minutes to go. Ben Smith gets the ball and from nothing he busts through tackles and finds the try line. How does he do something you'd expect from Nonu but who so rarely does that? I guess mainly because people expect him to do that and so therefore mark him heavily close to the line.

That said I agree Tman the balance is thrown completely out of that back three without Savea. Not only does he have speed but he has bulk and power and he also reads the game well. Without Piutau we lack pace if Jane is his replacement and we lack that killer punch out wide. Halai didn't make the step up from his brief appearances and in Jane I see a safety first option now rather than an attacking threat that Savea so clearly provides. Damn those Hurricanes for being in the hunt because it seems Savea has been having problems with that knee for a few weeks.

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Post by Geordie Tue 3 Jun - 8:42

I didnt realise Whitelock had 51 caps?

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Post by Geordie Tue 3 Jun - 8:44

That said I agree Tman the balance is thrown completely out of that back three without Savea. Not only does he have speed but he has bulk and power and he also reads the game well. Without Piutau we lack pace if Jane is his replacement and we lack that killer punch out wide. Halai didn't make the step up from his brief appearances and in Jane I see a safety first option now rather than an attacking threat that Savea so clearly provides. Damn those Hurricanes for being in the hunt because it seems Savea has been having problems with that knee for a few weeks..

I think its a good plan to rest him...he's hardly going to be needed in the first test!  Erm then in the remaining two, if the rest of your team are on fire as you say, then its a good chance to check your other options, against a team / squad that seems to be in injury / fatigue meltdown at the moment.

Hopefully a bit of rest and our boys will be fit and raring to go, to give you guys a good game.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Tue 3 Jun - 9:03

It's certainly a chance for fringe players like Luatua or Vito back in the squad to justify their inclusion and we may see Fekitoa get a chance at the end to catch the eye. Injuries are part and parcel of the game so they have to adapt and work hard to gain an advantage in other areas.

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