All Blacks Team to Play Springboks at Port Elizabeth
The All Blacks have named their team to face the Springboks at Port Elizabeth for their second 2011 Tri-Nations test
As expected from the squad that travelled to South Africa, the All Blacks have made whole sale changes to the team that defeated the Wallabies in Auckland. There are only four survivors from that starting team.
In his 85th test Keven Mealamu will captain the team for the second time from hooker. Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui partner in the midfield for the first time.
Although the All Blacks have one more test against Australia before the World Cup, the squad needs to be announced on Tuesday. This means it is the last chance saloon for many of these fringe squad players. Richard Kahui and Liam Messam will need to have big games. Messam has had a quiet start to the International season and will be feeling the heat from Victor Vito’s late inclusion. The heat generated from the outside backs competition may endanger Kahui’s spot. If the coaches can’t decide between the wing candidates they may pick an additional winger in place of Kahui. Hopefully the All Blacks have learned from their last three world cup failures and know the value of specialist centres should injury strike.
In the outside backs, Israel Dagg and Isaia Toeava get just one opportunity to impress, both coming back from long term injury and limited and provincial game time.
This is the fourth time the Springboks and All Blacks have played at Port Elizabeth, with the Springboks winning each time.
All Blacks Team to Play the Springboks:
1. Tony Woodcock 2. Keven Mealamu (captain) 3. John Afoa 4. Samuel Whitelock 5. Ali Williams 6. Jerome Kaino 7. Adam Thomson 8. Liam Messam 9. Jimmy Cowan 10. Colin Slade 11. Hosea Gear 12. Sonny Bill Williams 13. Richard Kahui 14. Isaia Toeava 15. Israel Dagg
Reserves: 16. Andrew Hore 17. Ben Franks 18. Jarrad Hoeata 19. Victor Vito 20. Andy Ellis 21. Piri Weepu 22. Cory Jane
Trackback from your site.