Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No fanfare as ABs hit Hong Kong

BY DUNCAN JOHNSTONE in Hong Kong, RugbyHeaven
Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The All Blacks arrived safely in Hong Kong today although they are yet to make a real impression in Asia's latest rugby hot-spot.

There were just a handful of fans at the airport to greet the squad after their 12-hour overnight flight from Auckland. Two local television crews quizzed lock Ali Williams and utility back Richard Kahui on Saturday's Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies.

While the match may be a dead rubber, Kahui told the locals that would not affect the All Blacks' attitude. They were determined to start the Grand Slam tour strongly and pick up from where they left off in defeating Australia in Brisbane to claim the silverware.

All Blacks manager Darren Shand** brought an advance party to Hong Kong the day before the main squad's arrival. He reported management were satisfied with hotel, training and stadium facilities.

Temperatures are expected to be in the range of 27degC or the match and threatening thunderstorms are forecast this week.
The All Blacks are also hoping fullback Mils Muliania will be on a flight to Hong Kong tomorrow. They are yet to receive any update of the birth of his first child which he has remained home for.

The All Blacks plan to train later today after they name their starting team which is expected to feature Stephen Donald at first five-eighths with Daniel Carter moving out to second five, the same formation New Zealand finished the Brisbane match with.

The Wallabies, who have been in a training in camp over the past four weeks, got a head-start on the All Blacks by arriving in Hong Kong a day earlier.
**the guy with the flip-flops :)

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