Friday, May 18, 2007

Team announcement on TV3

There are two bolters in the first All Blacks team of 2007.
Waikato halfback Brendan Leonard and Wellington prop John Schwalger have made the 30-man squad for tests against France and Canada, and the Tri-Nations.

Schwalger is the stand out name in an otherwise predictable pack featuring the return of Blues captain Troy Flavell as a lock who can cover blindside, while Reuben Thorne keeps his place as a blindside who might cover lock.

Leonard is the only new face in the backs, overtaking Andy Ellis and Jimmy Cowan in the halfback stakes, while Isaiah Toeava's Super 14 form meant he could not be left out.

And with Joe Rokocoko making the cut, Rico Gear along with Ma'anonu are the major selection casualties.

Coach Graham Henry praised Leonard's Super 14 form saying he had been the best attacking halfback in the competition. The 30-man squad has been named for the upcoming tests against France and Canada as well as the Philips Tri-Nations.

The squad:

Dan Carter - Canterbury ; Jerry Collins - Wellington ; Nick Evans - Otago ; Troy Flavell - Auckland ; Carl Hayman - Otago ; Andrew Hore - Taranaki ; Doug Howlett - Auckland ; Chris Jack - Tasman ; Byron Kelleher - Waikato ; Brendon Leonard - Waikato ; Luke McAlister - North Harbour ;
Richie McCaw - Canterbury (Captain) ; Leon MacDonald - Canterbury Chris Masoe - Wellington ; Aaron Mauger - Canterbury ; Keven Mealamu - Auckland Malili Muliaina - Waikato ; Anton Oliver - Otago ; Keith Robinson - Waikato ; Josevata Rokocoko - Auckland ; John Schwalger - Wellington ; Sitiveni Sivivatu - Waikato ; Conrad Smith - Wellington ; Rodney So’oialo - Wellington ; Reuben Thorne - Canterbury ; Neemia Tialata - Wellington ; Isaia Toeava - Auckland ; Piri Weepu - Wellington ; Ali Williams - Auckland ; Tony Woodcock - North Harbour.

NZRU Chairman Jock Hobbs speaks to the media during the naming of the All Blacks squad for the Iveco Series and the Philips Tri Nations at Eden Park

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