Bloke's a worm. Least favourite sportsman this side of Maradona.
Woodcock, Mealamu, O.Franks, Thorn, Whitelock, Kaino, McCaw, Read, Weepu, Cruden, Kahui, Nonu, Smith, Jane, Dagg; Hore, B.Franks, A.Williams, Vito, Ellis, Donald, SB Williams
If it were personally up to me I'd play Weepu at 10 but I can't see that happening. I also get the impression Donald will play on the bench; don't think Cruden will be risked as the only specialist 10 in the 22. SBW can cover wing and centre, and Jane can switch to fullback if Dagg's unable to play 80 minutes, so that should be sufficient cover. Cowan's been rather average throughout the tournament so I've actually included Ellis on the bench.
All Black selectors said:The All Blacks coaches have made three changes to the starting XV for the Rugby World Cup Semifinal match to be played against Australia at Eden Park, Auckland on Sunday night (NZT).
Starting XV: 1. Tony Woodcock (81), 2. Keven Mealamu (90), 3. Owen Franks (29), 4. Samuel Whitelock (23), 5. Brad Thorn (57), 6. Jerome Kaino (46), 7. Richie McCaw – captain (101), 8. Kieran Read (34), 9. Piri Weepu (54), 10. Aaron Cruden (7), 11. Richard Kahui (15), 12. Ma’a Nonu (64), 13. Conrad Smith (53), 14. Cory Jane (29), 15. Israel Dagg (10)
Reserves: 16. Andrew Hore (60), 17. Ben Franks (14), 18. Ali Williams (71), 19. Victor Vito (12), 20. Andy Ellis (24), 21. Stephen Donald (22), 22. Sonny Bill Williams (12)
Well, it was always going to be that team if Kahui and Dagg were fit.
But good job nevertheless.
Haha, tough crowd these days. I think Ellis over Cowan was the only really subjective decision TBH, the rest of the 22 basically picked itself - which compared to the sides we named for the SF in 2003 and the QF in 2007 hasn't necessarily been the case in past WCs.Next time put the test caps in there Somers.