Graham Henry announces All Blacks match 22 for weekend Tri Nations decider against Wallabies
The New Zealand national Rugby Union team, commonly known as the All Blacks, has announced a strong match day 22 squad for their upcoming 2011 Tri Nations encounter against the Wallabies.
All Blacks head coach, Graham Henry, announced his squad for the Tri Nations decider on Wednesday, August 24. Wallabies will host the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on Saturday, August
Henry has expressed his confidence that his team will put up a good performance in the tournament decider. However, he urged his players to not to be carried away with their previous performance
Henry added, “Australia are a dangerous team to play and they will be looking to bounce back from the loss against us in Auckland, so we will have to play at our very best. It's going to be
a massive Test match.”
Earlier this month, All Blacks handed 30 – 14 defeat to the touring Wallabies at the Eden Park, which also helped All Blacks to retain the Bledisloe Cup.
The squad is strengthened with the return of the several of All Blacks first choice players, who were rested from their last weekend’s encounter against the Springboks. The squad announced
on the Wednesday, contains 10 players in the starting XV, who took the field against the Wallabies at Eden Park on August 6.
The changed squad has a much-revamped backline, which includes seven changes. Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Zac Guildford, Daniel Carter, and Piri Weepu will take the field
in the starting XV at full back, right-winger, outside centre, inside centre, left-winger, fly half and scrum half positions respectively.
These players have taken these positions from Israel Dagg, Isaia Toeava, Richard Kahui, Sonny Bill Williams, Hosea Gear, Colin Slade and Jimmy Cowan respectively. The duo of Colin Slade and
Jimmy Cowan, were able to retain their place in the match day squad, as they will start from the bench against the Wallabies. Rests of the players are dropped from Saturday’s match 22.
Henry has also made several changes to the forwards pack, which includes the return of several of their first choice players.
In back row forwards, Liam Messam has been dropped from the squad, and is replaced by Kieran Read. All Blacks captain and star flanker returns at his number seven position and will form the
pair with the Adam Thomson. Thomson replaces Jerome Kaino in the squad, who failed to retain his place in the match 22.
In the second row forward, Ali Williams will start the match from the bench, making way for the Brad Thorn. Thorn will join the Sam Whitelock to form the locks pair.
Prop John Afoa will start the match from the bench, as Owen Frank replaces him at the number three position in the starting XV. Frank will join Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock to complete
the front row forwards pack.
The All Blacks squad for their Saturday’s encounter against the Wallabies consists of,
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu , 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Samuel Whitelock,
4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Isaia Toeava.