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.


Is cricket a batters game these days?

Captain McCullum of New Zealand walks off with his team after losing to England during the final cricket match of their one day international series at Eden ParkUmmm…No. I could just leave it there, but let me explain.

We are hearing cricket commentators, talk radio hosts, lounge-lizard commentators complaining that cricket has become a game for batsmen to the sake of the bowlers. This is rubbish.

Sometimes a batter dominates a game, see Gayle 215, Warner 178, Villers 162* etc…sometimes a bowler dominates, see Southee 7/33, Starc 6/26, Boult 5/27 etc…What about Vettori 3.21 runs per over, Tredwell at 3.57, Starc at 3.67. Seems some bowlers are happy to dominate the game, and not allow the batters to run the show.

Most importantly though the theme to much of this commentary is batting dominates the game now. Lets look at that.

To date at the Cricket World Cup 2015 the average winning score has been 266 runs. That includes results like match 26 when Australia won by close to 200 runs and Game 13 where India scored 130 more runs that South Africa. So all the largest totals are in that 266 average, regardless of what the losing score was.

At the 1992 Cricket World Cup the average winning score was 211 and at the ’92 World Cup there wasn’t the minnows as there are now, and we didn’t see the massive disparity in some scores. That means today the average is higher than ’92 due in part to several massive blow-outs thanks to the smaller nations.

Even taking that into consideration, the difference between the average winning score today, and 23 years ago is around 50 runs a match, or 1 run per over and I’m respectfully sorry Sir Curtly, an average increase of 1 run per over does not equate a balanced competition of two decades ago, turning to an unfair batting advantage in 2015.

Were you aware NZ has its own genuine Superman!

Many people will have seen this but for those who have not this is World Junior Shotput champion Jacko Gill. In this workout video he is only 16 years of age. Be afraid competition over the next 20 years…be very afraid.