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Jeff Wilson: The logic behind the chosen 30


By Jeff Wilson

Published: 8:07AM Friday August 26, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

  • Isaia Toeava (Source: Getty Images)
    Isaia Toeava - Source: Getty Images

And then there were 30. Yes, the All Blacks selectors have made their calls, rewarded the two qualities you require in a World Cup year, form and experience.

The debate is almost over, but let's take one last look back at the possible logic surrounding the chosen few.

Let's start up front. You need three props capable of playing tighthead, so the brothers Franks and John Afoa were never under serious threat.

Tony Woodcock is a proven All Black performer, so although short on game time, he is deserved of his opportunity. The hookers were a no brainer, on form and experience.

At lock they had a choice on the fourth but they opted for Boric on what he has done for them in the past.

The starting loose forwards were easy, Kaino, McCaw and Read. We knew we had no genuine back-up openside, so Thomson was certainly the best available option. The selection of Vito over Messam could be linked to the physical battle South Africa could pose come semi-final time.

Now, for the backs. Halfbacks were easy. 10's, Dan, ah....yep. Colin Slade is a leap of faith. We have seen the ability is there, and I am sure in time his consistency will come. If all goes to plan he will play a limited role, and Weepu offers that big game cover.

The midfield selected itself once Kahui illustrated his fitness. So that leaves the back three and this is my take on it.

Mils - of course. Dagg on straight ability. Guilford on form and energy. Jane on All Black form. Toeava on loyalty and versatility.

Take what you like out of this, but of the 30 players named, my information tells me that all but three are committed to New Zealand rugby post World Cup. It pays to stay loyal.

Is this Test tomorrow night against the Wallabies a preview of October 23? I sincerely hope so, for two reasons.

Firstly, the fact that we are actually playing in the final, and not resigned to seeing someone other than the All Blacks win. And secondly it has the opportunity to entertain and illustrate our way is better.

What do I mean? Simply this, wouldn't it be nice if the attack beat the defence for once. For too long the game has suffered from arm wrestle after arm wrestle. If the All Blacks and Wallabies face off at Eden Park to decide this World Cup let it be keep up if you can.

So, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane tomorrow night we might be watching a dress rehearsal, and for both the All Blacks and the Wallabies this is the perfect preparation for RWC 2011.

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