All Blacks Named - Lance Free rejoices. SBW-free - Green and Gold Rugby
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All Blacks Named – Lance Free rejoices. SBW-free

All Blacks Named – Lance Free rejoices. SBW-free

Who needs Sonny-Bill when you have Ma'a?

The All Black selectors have resisted the temptation of selecting their latest rugby ‘it man’, Sonny Bill-Williams for their Bledisloe encounter with the Wallabies on Saturday. Unsurprisingly the kiwis have stayed true to their fabulous centre pairing of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith, with the prodigiously talented Isaia Toeava on the bench.

The All Black team is:

1. Tony Woodcock; 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. Daniel Carter; 11. Josevata Rokocoko; 12. Ma’a Nonu; 13. Conrad Smith; 14. Cory Jane; 15. Mils Muliaina

Reserves: 16. Hikawera Elliot;  17. John Afoa; 18. Samuel Whitelock; 19. Daniel Braid; 20. Alby Mathewson; 21. Stephen Donald; 22. Isaia Toeava.

The team features four changes to the starting side from the last Bledisloe game in Sydney. Joe Rokococko replaces Israel Dagg on the wing, Dan Carter strolls back into the team for Aaron Cruden, the injured Piri Weepu is replaced by Jummy Cowan whilst Jerome Kaino takes Victor Vito’s spot on the blindside flank.

There are an interesting few names on the bench with former Reds player Daniel Braid set to play his first test for two years, whilst back up hooker Hika Elliot may well play his first.

The Wallaby team will be named later today.

  • Reddy!

    Looks like a very strong All Black team – this is no dead rubber game for them.

  • cheezel

    Good on Daniel Braid, very happy to see him in the side.

  • Bullrush

    Yeah…I didn’t think Dan Braid was quite up to international standard last time he was here but the last couple of years will have probably served him well.

    Very happy to see Mathewson get the nod ahead of Ellis as well. And I wonder if Donald will get any game time. It’s probably a good bet given the lack of games Carter has played.

    Can’t wait for this game!!

  • Bobas

    why isn’t supersub israel dagg there?

  • Newb

    smart selections methinks. don’t like hika or the duck much but i don’t know what their alternatives would be.

    i expect and victory for the cartel. sadly.

  • enforcer

    Dagg is injured and has not been selected in the touring squad.

  • Lance Free

    First XV for sure. Toeava off the bench is a better bet with regard to utility value although he hasn’t had much rugby lately. He’s not alone there – I think the ABs are going to be a bit scratchy because of that.

  • Garry

    The AB three wise men are playing head games with us?

  • Kinghitz

    Hard see any real weaknesses in this selection. My guess is that the only thing that beat this team is complacency. Look out Wobblies!

  • Robson

    Yes it’s an imposing team all right and the only question mark is about current form. They were hot at the end of the tri nations, but the rugby they’ve played recently doesn’t add up to a lot of intensity. There are also three lynch pins who have played virtually no rugby, McCaw, Carter and Read. I think they will be going into the Honkers test a bit on the coolish side. And no I don’t think the lack of rugby will have done the same thing to the Wallabies. The ABs mind game has been switched off for a few weeks. The Wallabies mind game has been continuously simmering.

    • Bullrush

      Not sure why you would think that the ABs mind game will have been ‘switched off’ coming up to this Test.

      I think the NZ public and possibly the ABs themselves think the Wallabies are the ABs biggest threat to the 2011 RWC at the moment. A loss to the Wallabies right now would be a huge lift to a young team building to that tornament. As you’re probably aware, we haven’t won that for a little while and I’m sure the AB coaching staff and players will not want to give any confidence at all to this side.

      The Darkness by 13+

  • Brando

    Jummy Cowen, I love it cos I’m umuture…

  • SiRa

    We all know the all blacks might be underdone, how will the WBs fare?

  • MJ

    Make no mistake – this team is alot more potent than the last time they played the Wallabies. With DC back as playmaker and Jerome Kaino and Kevin Mealamu back in the forwards It’d be foolish to assume that this game presents a better opportunity to beat the ABs. Face it, the Wallabies blew their big chance to beat NZ this year in Sydney, just as they did last year. You never know anything for certain but I’m putting my money on NZ by 10.

    Fantastic choice to leave out SBW – we’ll see him later in the EOYT but for now it keeps Deans guessing about his overall impact and gives the AB’s a secret card for next year. In any case it makes more sense to have the Iceman ahead of him – he’s proven class.

  • BRIX

    Not surprising at all that SBW has not been selected. Makes me sick how the media clowns have harped on about him for the last 3 weeks

    Wallabies to come good, by 12

  • All blacks to win by 7.

    Live blogging on the game at

    coverage starts at 9:50pm NZT – for one eyed All Black look at the game.

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The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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