Well, truth be known these are my guesses at what the squad of 31 will be.
I’m usually pretty bad at this but I’ll put it out there and hopefully you’ll share what you think…be gentle 😉
Some notes beside some of the players, or decisions that I’ve gone with to explain why…or why not.
Team (17/14 Split Forwards to Backs)
The front row is a dark and foreign place (even to those of us who spent a dozen seasons there) so if there’s any area of the team I’m especially not convinced about it’s these guys. It’ll just depend on what the three wise men want…but I’ve put my neck out on the following.
I think the selectors could also take Messam and drop wither Taylor or Broadhurst
Dan Carter (can play halfback)
Colin Slade (can play halfback if needed/utility back from 12-15)
Lima Sopoaga (can’t leave out)
Sonny Bill Williams (over Ryan Crotty. I actually think Crotty is a better inside center than SBW but both Crotty and SBW are 4th in the rankings of all the inside backs, the difference between them is Crotty is steady and consistent but SBW could be/can be a game changer which is why he’ll go)
Haven’t considered Naholo due to injury, even with the magic herbs currently being applied in Fiji
Can I also state publicly that this World Cup is NZ’s to lose, on their day no team in the world can touch the All Blacks, we are the best team in the world, we travel better than any team in the world, we have the strongest bench in the world and if they play to 80% of their ability they will win this thing. However there have been other World Cups where our form and performance haven’t matched and this could happen again.
We were the number one ranked team in the world under the new ranking system leading into the 2003, 2007 and 2011 RWC and only came away with one tournament that went to form, let alone the dominance we had during much of the 1987 to 2003 era. so whilst I can’t count my chickens yet and say we are going to win, I think it is more than fair to say that it’s the All Blacks to lose.
GO THE ALL BLACKS!!!