Ian Foster selects 18 forwards and 15 defenders. Fourth World Championship for Sam Whitelock
The week of announcements has arrived: the first team to submit a squad for the Rugby World Cup is Samoa. The announcement also came from the All Blacks during the Italian night: Ian Foster had selected 33 players for the World Championship.
The New Zealand coach had one last question to solve: 18 strikers and 15 strikers or 19 and 14? In the end, he chose the first option: from the back line Samipeni Finau, who played his cards to the end after Saturday’s debut against Australia, while Caleb Clark, the front line player most at risk of “cutting” the New Zealand Squadron.
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This will be the fourth World Cup for Sam Whitelock, who has managed an incredible 150 caps in France (he has 145). Third World Championship in place of Aaron Smith, Boden Barrett, Brody Retallic, Cody Taylor, Dane Coles and Captain Sam Kane.
Among the young players, Tamahiti Williams, Cam Roigard and Emony Narawa, who made their debuts during the last Rugby Championship, have big opportunities. Also inside is Mark Telea, who made his debut during the 2022 Autumn Series of Nations by scoring a brace against Scotland.
Inside are apparently all 3 Barrett brothers, with Geordie registered as the center, demonstrating how Foster decided to hire him for the role full-time. The experience of Aaron Smith will also be in midfield, and Will Jordan will not give up at the back, despite numerous injuries of the last period.
The All Blacks will play their last set-up test on 25 August at Twickenham against South Africa before making their debut on 8 September in the group’s toughest match against France. The match between New Zealand and Italy is scheduled for Friday, September 29 at 21.00.
All Blacks: 33rd Rugby World Cup Squad
Dane Coles (36, Hurricanes/Wellington, 86 caps)
Samisoni Taukeyaho (25, Chiefs/Waikato, 24)
Cody Taylor (32, Crusaders/Canterbury 79)
Ethan de Groot (25, Highlanders/Southland, 16)
Tyrell Lomax (27, Hurricanes/Tasman 26)
Nepo Laulala (31, Blues/Counties Manukau, 49)
Fletcher Newell (23, Crusaders/Canterbury 7)
Ofa Tuungafazi (31, Blues/Northland 53)
Tamahiti Williams (22, Crusaders/Canterbury, 2)
Scott Barrett (29, Crusaders/Taranaki, 61)
Brody Retallic (32, Chiefs/Hawkes Bay 103)
Tupou Waai (23 years old, Chiefs/Taranaki, 21 years old)
Samuel Whitelock (34, Crusaders/Canterbury 145)
Sam Kane (31, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 89) – captain
Shannon Frizell (29, Highlanders/Tasman, 28)
Luke Jacobson (26, Chiefs/Waikato 14)
Dalton Papalia (25, Blues/Counties Manukau, 25)
Ardie Savea (29, Hurricanes/Wellington 74)
Finley Christie (27, Blues/Tasman, 17)
Cam Roygard (22, Hurricanes/Manukau Counties, 1)
Aaron Smith (34, Highlanders/Manawatu, 118)
Boden Barrett (32, blues/rams, 115)
Damian McKenzie (28, Chiefs/Waikato 42)
Richie Mounga (29, Crusaders/Canterbury 48)
Geordie Barrett (26, Hurricanes/Taranaki 51)
David Hawiley (28, Crusaders/Tasman, 25)
Rieko Ioane (26, Blues/Oakland 62)
Anton Linert-Brown (28, Chiefs/Waikato 62)
Caleb Clark (24, Blues/Oakland 18)
Lester Fainga’anuku (23, Crusaders/Tasman, 3)
Will Jordan (25, Crusaders/Tasman, 24)
Emony Narawa (24, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 1)
Mark Telea (26, Blues/North Harbor, 4)
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