World Cup - Team Guide: New Zealand

Thu, 08 Sep 17:13:00 2011

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New Zealand All Blacks players perform the haka before their rugby union match against Scotland - 0

NEW ZEALAND

Colours: Black shirt, black shorts.

Nickname: All Blacks.

World ranking: 1.

Coach: Graham Henry.

In charge of the All Blacks since 2004 and heavily criticised after their quarter-final exit from the 2007 World Cup, the 65-year-old former Wales and British Lions boss will surely lose his job if he fails to lift the trophy four years on, particularly with the tournament being played in New Zealand.

Likely squad:

BACKS Born Caps Tries Cons Pens DGs Pts

Dan Carter 5/3/82 83 29 218 213 3 1229

Jimmy Cowan 6/3/82 47 6 0 0 0 30

Israel Dagg 6/6/88 7 2 0 0 0 10

Andy Ellis 21/2/84 21 3 0 0 0 15

Zac Guildford 8/2/89 7 2 0 0 0 10

Richard Kahui 9/6/85 12 6 0 0 0 30

Cory Jane 8/2/83 26 8 0 0 0 40

Mils Muliaina 31/7/80 98 33 0 0 0 165

Ma’a Nonu 21/5/82 60 19 0 0 0 95

Colin Slade 10/10/87 5 2 4 2 0 24

Conrad Smith 12/10/81 49 20 0 0 0 100

Isaia Toeava 15/1/86 32 7 0 0 0 35

Piri Weepu 7/9/83 49 7 6 5 0 62

Sonny Bill Williams 3/4/85 7 0 0 0 0 0

FORWARDS

John Afoa 16/10/83 34 1 0 0 0 5

Anthony Boric 27/12/83 19 2 0 0 0 10

Corey Flynn 15/1/81 14 3 0 0 0 15

Ben Franks 27/3/84 11 1 0 0 0 5

Owen Franks 23/12/87 24 0 0 0 0 0

Andrew Hore 13/9/78 55 6 0 0 0 30

Jerome Kaino 6/4/83 41 4 0 0 0 20

Richie McCaw 31/12/80 98 19 0 0 0 95

Keven Mealamu 20/3/79 86 11 0 0 0 55

Kieran Read 26/10/85 32 6 0 0 0 30

Brad Thorn 3/2/75 52 3 0 0 0 15

Adam Thomson 13/3/82 22 2 0 0 0 10

Sam Whitelock 12/10/88 18 3 0 0 0 15

Ali Williams 30/4/81 66 7 0 0 0 35

Tony Woodcock 27/1/81 76 7 0 0 0 35

Victor Vito 27/3/87 8 0 0 0 0 0

Key player: Dan Carter.

All New Zealand will be hoping Carter stays fit, as the All Blacks points machine is absolutely crucial to their chances of regaining the World Cup with his astute game management from fly-half and metronomic goalkicking.

2010-2011 form:

30/10/2010 v Australia (Hong Kong) L 24-26

6/11/2010 v England (Twickenham) W 26-16

13/11/2010 v Scotland (Edinburgh) W 49-3

20/11/2010 v Ireland (Dublin) W 38-18

27/11/2010 v Wales (Cardiff) W 37-25

22/7/11 v Fiji (Dunedin) W 60-14

30/7/11 v South Africa (Wellington) W 40-7

6/8/11 v Australia (Auckland) W 30-14

20/8/11 v South Africa (Port Elizabeth) L 5-18

27/8/11 v Australia (Brisbane) L 20-25

World Cup pedigree:

Winners : 1987.

Runners-up: 1995.

Third: 1991, 2003.

Fourth: 1999.

Quarter-finals: 2007.

Record: P36, W30, D0, L6.

Most appearances: Sean Fitzpatrick 17.

Most points: Grant Fox 170.

Most tries: Jonah Lomu 15.

Hero: Jonah Lomu.

Who can forget his bulldozing runs down the left wing that scattered defenders like confetti? Certainly few of New Zealand’s opponents in the 1995 and 1999 tournaments, when Lomu scored 15 tries in total – still a World Cup record.

Villain: Suzie.

The South African waitress who allegedly poisoned the All Blacks’ water the week before their 1995 final against the Springboks, which they lost 15-12 after extra time.

High:

Being the first winners of the Webb Ellis Trophy in 1987, when David Kirk’s troops stormed through the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, scoring 298 points and conceding just 52, and hammered France 29-9 in the final.

Low:

Their 2007 quarter-final implosion against France in Cardiff, when, despite being the world’s top-ranked team, they surrendered a 13-3 half-time lead to crash to a 20-18 defeat and fail to make the semi-finals for the first time.

2011 prospects:

Surely the All Blacks can’t muck it up this time. Overwhelming favourites and on home soil to boot, Graham Henry and his squad risk being kicked out of the country for good if they don’t lift the Webb Ellis trophy on October 23. However, doubts have been raised by their failure to win the Tri Nations.

Group matches:

9/9/2011 v Tonga (Auckland)

16/9/2011 v Japan (Hamilton)

24/9/2011 v France (Auckland)

2/10/2011 v Canada (Wellington)

Eurosport

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