393. Ned’s Squad For RWC2015

The official All Blacks squad for RWC2015 will be announced next Sunday. So there’s going to be a lot of chatter this week from various commentators about who they think should be, and who they think will be, in the squad.

Like a good front-row forward, I’ll get my retaliation in first. Here’s who I think should be going.

First, let me say that I’m on record as being in favour of an 18-13 split between forwards and backs. There’s a good argument for 17-14, and I think that’s how Shag & Co will go. A very fine line call, that really comes down to individuals. See below.

Anyway, here’s my picks:

Props

  • Owen Franks
  • Ben Franks
  • Tony Woodcock
  • Wyatt Crockett
  • Charlie Faumuina
  • Nepo Laulala

Hookers

  • Dane Coles
  • Codie Taylor
  • Keven Mealamu

Locks

  • Sam Whitelock
  • Brodie Retallick
  • Luke Romano

Loose Forwards

  • Richie McCaw
  • Keiran Read
  • Jerome Kaino
  • Sam Cane
  • Liam Messam
  • Victor Vito

Halfbacks

  • Aaron Smith
  • TJ Perenara
  • Tawera Kerr-Barlow

First Five-Eighths

  • Dan Carter
  • Beauden Barrett
  • Colin Slade

Inside Backs

  • Ma’a Nonu
  • Conrad Smith
  • Malakai Fekitoa

Outside Backs

  • Ben Smith
  • Julian Savea
  • Nehe Milner-Skudder
  • Cory Jane

You’ll see that I’ve gone for 3 locks, which allows an extra loose forward, on the basis that Messam can cover lock in the pool matches. I also reckon that SBW ranks behind Fekitoa in the midfield, and I favour Slade because he covers all the outside backs. Kerr-Barlow’s lucky to be there after not playing much rugby this year, but no other halfback has put their hand up.

Israel Dagg doesn’t make it on form, unless Jane’s considered too much of an injury risk. Piutau doesn’t make the cut, in part because he’s going overseas next year but mainly because you have to make room for Milner-Shudder.

Here’s the one change I think Shag makes from the above: drop a prop (either Faumuina if his injury isn’t recovered, or Laulala), and add in SBW.

The bolter would be Sopoaga instead of Slade, on the basis that Barrett plays the utility role.

About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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3 Responses to 393. Ned’s Squad For RWC2015

  1. Wayne Tacon says:

    Matthew, Matthew, Matthew!!!

  2. Cpt. Tinarse says:

    Only one off Ned (given Shag’s preferences for 17/14 vs your 18/13), well done! (For later readers, the delta is Naholo, who made it after a surprisingly fast fixed leg, vs Jane, who just hasn’t scored enough tries despite lots of ball)

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