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Thread: All Blacks Announce Squad

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    Exclamation All Blacks Announce Squad

    All Blacks coach Graham Henry and his assistant coaches Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen have announced the All Blacks squad

    John Afoa Auckland
    Anthony Boric North Harbour
    Dan Carter Canterbury
    Stephen Donald Waikato
    Andy Ellis Canterbury
    Andrew Hore Taranaki
    Richard Kahui Waikato
    Jerome Kaino Auckland
    Sione Lauaki Waikato
    Brendon Leonard Waikato
    Richie McCaw (c) Canterbury
    Leon MacDonald Canterbury
    Keven Mealamu Auckland
    Mils Muliaina Waikato
    Ma’a Nonu Wellington
    Sitiveni Sivivatu Waikato
    Conrad Smith Wellington
    Greg Somerville Canterbury
    Rodney So’oialo Wellington
    Adam Thomson Otago
    Brad Thorn Tasman
    Neemia Tialata Wellington
    Anthony Tuitavake North Harbour
    Ali Williams Tasman
    Tony Woodcock North Harbour
    Rudi Wulf North Harbour

    The 26-man squad includes six first-time selections: North Harbour’s Anthony Boric, Anthony Tuitavake and Rudi Wulf; Waikato’s Stephen Donald and Richard Kahui; and Otago’s Adam Thomson. “The new players impressed in the Rebel Sport Super 14 and played their way into the squad,” said Henry. “A few of them were not in the frame at the beginning of the year, but they proved they were some of the form players in New Zealand rugby.”
    Two players in the squad are carrying injuries that will rule them out of selection for at least the first Test on Saturday. Prop Tony Woodcock has a toe injury and halfback Brendon Leonard a bruised knee. Consequently, the Hurricanes’ John Schwalger and the Highlanders’ Jimmy Cowan will assemble with the All Blacks squad in Wellington this afternoon.
    Henry noted that the first Tests against Ireland would be a major challenge: “The Irish were strong when they came to New Zealand in 2006 and may be stronger this time. They’ve already been in camp for a couple of weeks, except for their Munster players who were winning the European championship. We need to be very aware of the challenge and focussed on the task at hand.”
    Meanwhile, Blues wing Joe Rokocoko was not considered for selection due to injury.

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    New Zealand Maori squad named

    New Zealand Maori Coach Donny Stevenson and Assistant Coach Milton Haig today announced the New Zealand Maori squad for the 2008 IRB Pacific Nations Cup tournament.The squad is:

    Tim Bateman * Canterbury
    Kaitahu Daniel Braid Auckland,Tainui
    Stephen Brett * Canterbury, Kaitahu
    Callum Bruce Waikato, Ngati Kahungunu
    Keith Cameron Otago, Te Whanau Apanui
    Aled de Malmanche Waikato, Tainui
    Jason Eaton * Taranaki, Ngati Apa
    Hikawera Elliot * Hawke’s Bay, Ngati Kahungunu
    Jacob Ellison * Wellington, Ngati Porou
    Tamati Ellison Wellington, Ngati Porou
    Ross Filipo Wellington, Ngati Raukawa
    Hosea Gear Wellington, Ngati Porou / Aitanga Mahaki
    Glen Horton Otago, Te Whaetoa
    Jason Kawau Southland, Ngati Apa
    Tanerau Latimer Bay of Plenty, Ngati Rangi
    Zar Lawrence Bay of Plenty, Ngapuhi
    Hoani MacDonald Southland, Rangitane
    Ben May Tasman, Tainui
    Liam Messam Waikato, Tuhoe
    Clint Newland * Hawke’s Bay, Ngati Kahungunu
    Shannon Paku Wellington, Ngati Kahungunu / Tuhoe
    Chris Smylie North Harbour, Ngati Mutunga
    Dwayne Sweeney Waikato, Tainui
    Hayden Triggs Manawatu, Ngati Kahungunu
    Thomas Waldrom Wellington, Ngati Porou
    Piri Weepu Wellington, Whakatohea

    * Denotes new cap

    Tamati Ellison and Liam Messam have been named co-captains.

    New Zealand Maori will make its debut in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup this year and will play internationals against Australia A, Japan, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Stevenson said the competition would provide a new and exciting challenge for the team. “This year will be the first time in a while that we will play five matches on consecutive weekends and that will be a huge test for the team. “Our Pacific Island rivals are very passionate about their rugby, Japan continues to improve on the international stage and we know Australia A will be a tough team in Sydney. But that’s the challenge and we are thrilled to compete in this competition,” Stevenson said.

    New Zealand Maori 2008 IRB Pacific Nations Cup schedule (all times local)
    Saturday 7 June: v Tonga, North Harbour Stadium, Albany at 4.40pm
    Saturday 14 June: v Fiji, Churchill Park, Lautoka at 3.05pm
    Saturday 21 June: v Manu Samoa, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton at 4.40pm
    Saturday 28 June: v Japan, McLean Park, Napier at 2.40pm
    Sunday 6 July: v Australia A, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney at 2.10pm

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    Even with a few big names moved on you can make a couple of pretty handy combinations there.
    I don't think they will slip too far.

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    The Maori Squad is possibly a little lighter on big names than in previous years though.

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    Possibly?

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    As in a lot, except I haven't seen enough of this year to comment on the new players coming in

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    Thumbs down Injury forces change to New Zealand Maori side

    Manawatu lock Hayden Triggs has been forced to withdraw from the New Zealand Maori side because of a foot injury. Triggs was examined by medical staff yesterday and x-rays revealed a stress fracture of his right foot which has ruled him out of the upcoming tournament.

    Triggs will be replaced by Canterbury’s Isaac Ross (Ngati Kahungunu), who made his New Zealand Maori debut in last year’s Churchill Cup.

    New Zealand Maori Coach Donny Stevenson said it was disappointing for Triggs to pull out of the squad. “Hayden first played for the Maori team last year and made a huge contribution to the team and it is disappointing for him to miss this year’s tournament. But this is a great opportunity for Isaac to come in and once again show his ability on the international stage,” Stevenson said.

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