Thursday, June 07, 2007

News before Saturday's test (tvnz)

NB : No new picture of the Captain during training session lately, so those published in the articles are unpublished pics from last week.


All Blacks revise starting line-up

The All Blacks have made injury enforced changes to the lineup to play France on Saturday in Wellington. Starting first-five Dan Carter has succumbed to his ankle injury and is replaced in the No.10 jersey by Nick Evans. Doug Howlett comes onto the bench.

Conrad Smith's hamstring injury has not recovered sufficiently, although his likely replacement Aaron Mauger has also picked up a knee strain. That means another recall for Ma'a Nonu to the bench. New Zealand won the first test in Auckland 42-11.

The revised team to play France is:

15.Leon MacDonald, 14.Joe Rokocoko, 13.Isaia Toeava, 12.Luke McAlister, 11.Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10.Nick Evans, 9.Byron Kelleher, 8.Rodney So'oialo, 7.Richie McCaw (capt), 6.Jerry Collins, 5.Ali Williams, 4.Keith Robinson, 3.Carl Hayman, 2.Anton Oliver, 1.Tony Woodcock.
Reserves: 16.Keven Mealamu, 17.Neemia Tialata, 18.Chris Jack, 19.Chris Masoe, 20.Brendon Leonard, 21.Ma'a Nonu, 22.Doug Howlett.

Bernie is not happy!
At 11pm (French time)/9am (NZ time), Bernard Laporte had a press conference. Laporte stoked the fires of his ongoing spat with New Zealand counterpart Graham Henry by saying the Kiwi had a lot less to say while he was coaching Wales.

He added that Graham -as a teacher- should understand that his pupils want to learn more and that's why many of them are off to Europe after the World Cup/ the NPC.

I think it echoed the statement Graham made yesterday about Luke McAlister and how much he wanted Luke to stay in NZ, to make him a top class player (coz he is not? or won't be if he plays in Europe? I didn't really get what Graham meant here...)

Article related to the story :

Meanwhile in France...

=> It's official : Byron Kelleher has signed with Stade Toulousain (who wanted a n°10 -Luke McAlister- to replace Michalak). Tha plan now is to put Jean Baptiste Elissalde in 10, and have Byron in 9 (knowing that JB -to me- is better in 9...anyway, I'm not working for Toulouse so, that's just my opinion!)

=> Vern Cotter (nicknamed Jules for Jules Verne!) is preparing Saturday's final with ASM against Stade Francais, at the Stade de France this Saturday night (European time).

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