2015 All Black RWC Squad Announced

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)

Dane Coles
Keven Mealamu
Codie Taylor

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.
Ben Franks
Owen Franks
Tony Woodcock
Charlie Faumuina
Wyatt Crockett

Brodie Retallick
Luke Romano
Samuel Whitelock
James Broadhurst

Jerome Kaino
Kieran Read
Richie McCaw
Sam Cane
Victor Vito
I think the selectors could also take Messam and drop wither Taylor or Broadhurst

Aaron Smith
TJ Perenara

Dan Carter (can play halfback)
Colin Slade (can play halfback if needed/utility back from 12-15)
Lima Sopoaga (can’t leave out)

Conrad Smith
Ma’a Nonu
Malakai Fekitoa
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
Nehe Milner-Skudder
Ben Smith
Charles Piutau
Cory Jane
Julian Savea

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.


Eden Park officially support homophobia…albeit subtly

Aaron-Cruden-looks-to-offload-A story came out today about boorish fans at Eden Park yelling homophobic comments at rugby players. This may not seem to be that surprising, or even a news item, apart from the fact that Eden Park supports the actions of these fans…albeit subtly.

A stretch you say. I disagree.

The story so far from the NZHerald

A young woman who asked three All Blacks fans at Eden Park not to use homophobic slurs was told by the men that “it’s just part of the game”.

Hannah Spyksma, 24, was at the All Blacks versus France test on Saturday with her family and the three men were sitting in the row behind.

The men, believed to be in their early to mid 20s, were yelling at players, calling them “homos and faggots”.

When Ms Spyksma complained they yelled back: “If you don’t like us using the word faggot then don’t come to the footy because it’s just part of the game.”

The ‘gentlemen’ then turned on Ms. Spyksma turning on her “for the rest of the match, directing slurs in her ear, tapping her on the head and telling her not to go to the rugby again.”

An Eden Park spokesperson then responded

EdenPark spokeswoman Tracy Morgan said harassment of a patron would not be condoned and the men could have been evicted for that.

But unless everyone else around Ms Spyksma was offended by the men’s slurs, they would likely not have been kicked out. Ms Morgan said it wasn’t EdenPark’s place to “be the PC police”.

“If she’s saying that she was isolated and that it shouldn’t be acceptable, it’s not our job – I don’t believe – to try to move the cultural morals of society.”

Now if Ms Morgan had of stopped at the point of condemning the action I wouldn’t be writing this post today…but she let off the offenders, and subtly supported the actions by adding that it wasn’t Eden Park’s place to “be the PC Police” which of course leads to the only logical conclusion that Eden Park is officially saying that to complain about, or be offended by, homophobic slurs is ‘PC”.

Homophobia is akin to any other discrimination, be it sexism, ageism, racism etc…they are all seen equally under discrimination laws, as they are seen equally by the Human Rights Commission. Therefore an establishment should take them as seriously as one another.

I wonder what Eden Park’s response would have been if these men were yelling out words like ‘Nigger‘ and ‘Jigaboo‘ at a player on the field. I bet they wouldn’t have said they weren’t the PC Police then, they would have unequivocally denounced it and wanted to take action. What about the people sitting around these 20 somethings. According to the story Ms. Spyksma was the only person to speak to these young men asking them to stop, and telling them it is inappropriate language. Would any of the other patrons have spoken up if the language was of a racist manner? Or would their silence confirmed the stereotype that racism too is acceptable “because it’s just part of the game.

I recall an episode of Dr. Phil a few years ago when he talked about the word ‘but‘. He said when people use the word ‘but‘ what they are saying is ‘ignore everything I have just said‘ in other words after the word ‘but‘ comes the persons real opinion.

Now I don’t think it is quite as simple as what Dr. Phil said, but there is some validity to it.

  • I am not a racist but…Asian’s are terrible drivers.
  • I have nothing against this Government but…National are morons selling us up the river.
  • We don’t condone homophobic behaviour in Eden Park but…we aren’t the PC Police.

There is a very famous quote of which the origin is disputed that says “ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I wonder if the same could be said in this instance.

All that needs to happen for homophobia to exist is that we do nothing. The people in the stands did nothing, Eden Park has responded with a nothing response and now what should you and I do?