New Zealand name their ‘first-choice XV’

Graham Henry

Graham Henry has named his full-strength side for the game against the Springboks this weekend.  The All Blacks have been using a huge squad full of world-class players, so it’s actually a bit of a surprise to learn of Henry’s first choice players.

There is no room for Chris Masoe, with Henry preferring Rodney So’oialo, Jerry Collins and Richie McCaw to form the back row unit.  Kevin Mealamu is another notable absentee, with Anton Oliver getting the nod.  Luke McAlister misses out in the centres, with Isaia Toeava selected to combine with Aaron Mauger.

Jake White will name his team tomorrow (Wednesday), and the excitment is building at the contest between the best back rows in the world.

New Zealand team to play South Africa:
Muilaina; Rokocoko, Toeava, Mauger, Sivivatu; Carter, Kelleher; Woodcock, Oliver, Hayman; Flavell, Rawlinson; Collins, McCaw, So’oialo.
Replacements: Mealamu, Tialata, Filipo, Masoe, Weepu, McAlister, MacDonald.