onenews.co.nz delivers a report card on all 32 players selected for the three-Test series against Ireland.
Top of the class
Conrad Smith. Just goes on making those around him look so much better. Full of deft touches, inch-perfect anticipation and the kind of selflessness that handed namesake Ben his first Test try.
Aaron Smith. The long wait for a truly world class halfback is over.
Sam Cane. Ditto the long wait for a long-term replacement to the skipper. Ran hard, tackled hard, supported brilliantly
Kieran Read. Bossed the first two Tests from the back of the scrum before a pair of head knocks sidelined him in Hamilton.
Aaron Cruden. Devastating in both his (thankfully for Ireland) short appearances in Auckland and Hamilton. The best attacking first five in world rugby. Quade who?
Dan Carter. Won't be giving up the ten jersey to Cruden without a fight. Ran the show smoothly in Auckland and won it at the death in Christchurch before injury ruled him out of the third Test.
Andrew Hore. Perhaps not the ball-running force of yesteryear but the All Blacks' lineout stood up to Irish scrutiny superbly.
Owen Franks. His battle royale with impressive opposite Cian Healy was one of the highlights of the series.
Brodie Retallick. A great debut series for the big man, who stuck mainly to his core duties but showed plenty of oomph with ball in hand too.
Luke Romano. A barnstorming debut in Hamilton, albeit with the Irish already subdued.
Adam Thomson. Excellent in a beaten pack in Hamilton, try-scoring supersub in the other two Tests. Yet still can't nail down a starting spot ahead of the likes of Vito and Messam.
Liam Messam. Handed a lifeline in Hamilton, he turned up in the second half with some big runs and bone-jarring defence.
Beauden Barrett. Thrust prematurely into the Hamilton Test but looked right at home, apart from missing a simple conversion.
Sonny Bill Williams. Brilliant grubber for Israel Dagg's try in Hamilton confirmed he actually does have all the skills. Unstoppable on the front foot, the Irish did give him a few issues when on the back foot too.
Hosea Gear. Produced a memorable Lomu-esque fend on Keith Earls en route to the tryline in a lively display in Hamilton. New Zealand's premier power winger.
Julian Savea. Learned that rugby can be a fickle game. From hat trick hero on debut he was anonymous the next week. Still looks a real find.
Tony Woodcock. The Kaukapakapa man just keeps on trucking, even if he did pop up in the backline a few times too often.
Sam Whitelock. Didn't attract the plaudits of the two locking debutants but that's testament to the hard work he was doing at the coalface.
Israel Dagg. Wasn't quite his usual line-busting self but some of his linking play with the wings was still a joy to watch.
Ben Smith. A well-taken try in Hamilton and some nice touches during his only start, but didn't get as involved much in his two forays off the bench.
Piri Weepu. Well and truly in Aaron Smith's shadow, although his experience was crucial in the dying moments in Christchurch.
Hika Elliot. In the squad as standby for Mealamu, did little wrong in two appearances off the bench.
Richie McCaw. Below his best for the first two Tests, although he did improve in Hamilton and show fine leadership at the death in Christchurch.
Ali Williams. Made no impact off the bench other than giving away silly penalties. Might have played the last of his 75 Tests.
Zac Guildford. Didn't do a lot wrong but didn't do a lot right either. Stuck in an outside back logjam.
Ben Franks. Scrums went backwards when he came on.
Ma'a Nonu. Didn't get to kit up, and must be nervous after watching Sonny Bill dominate.
Victor Vito. Lasted just 47 minutes as the heir apparent to Jerome Kaino before being injured.
Keven Mealamu. Just 40 minutes in Hamilton on his return from injury but eased back into his work well.
Tamati Ellison. Ran strongly in his 20-minute stint off the bench in Hamilton.
Ben Tameifuna. Will have to bide his time for a first Test cap.
Wyatt Crockett. Saw no action either.
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