All Blacks Squad Named To Face England 2014 – Thoughts?

The All Blacks selectors have named their squad of 31 players to play England in a three test series inside the June International window.

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The main talking points from this squad is the inclusion of youngsters Malakai Fekitoa and Patrick Tuipulotu and the return of Hurricanes Number Eight, Victor Vito.

The biggest exclusion is Steven Luatua who had a barnstorming 2013, but has the second year blues.

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Another talking point is the inclusion of only two hookers in the squad meaning that neither Liam Coltman or Nathan Harris get a chance to test themselves at test match rugby.  This is an interesting call given that a home series against England is surely a better place to test two young hookers than in the Rugby Championship or Rugby World Cup.

My thoughts are that while Fekitoa and Tuipulotu have put their hands up for selection, the main reason Coltman and Harris were selected is because the cupboard is bare behind Dane Coles and an aging Keven Mealamu and it seems that neither of the young rakes are ready for the next step which is disturbing.  There could be an opportunity for one of the seven quality props named in this squad could fill in at hooker if required.

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What do you think of the All Blacks squad to play England?

All Black Squad: Beauden Barrett, Dominic Bird, Sam Cane, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Ryan Crotty, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, Charlie Faumuina, Malakai Fekitoa, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Cory Jane, Jerome Kaino, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Richie McCaw (capt), Keven Mealamu, Liam Messam, Ma’a Nonu, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read, Brodie Retallick, Julian Savea, Colin Slade, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Patrick Tuipulotu, Victor Vito, Sam Whitelock, Tony Woodcock.

http://www.superrugbytips.com/2014/06/all-blacks-squad-named-to-face-england.html

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