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The All Blacks have named their team to face the Springboks in a Tri-Nations test with Keven Mealamu being named as captain.

The All Blacks have rested 9 of their first choice players for this match including Dan Carter, captain Richie McCaw, number eight Kieran Read, lock Brad Thorn, prop Owen Franks, fullback Mils Muliaina and centre Conrad Smith.

Hooker Keven Mealamu has been named as All Blacks captain for the second time in a Test after he captained the All Blacks against Scotland in November 2008.

The starting XV sees first five-eighth Colin Slade make his second run-on start in his fifth Test, Jimmy Cowan is at halfback, while in the forwards Liam Messam is at number eight, Adam Thomson is at openside flanker, Sam Whitelock returns to the second row alongside Ali Williams and John Afoa returns from his eye socket injury at tighthead prop.

The starting XV also features the return of a number of other recently-injured All Blacks to the Test side for the first time in 2011.

The All Blacks most capped prop Tony Woodcock returns to the front row, while in the backs Richard Kahui is at centre, pairing with Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield for the first time; Isaia Toeava is on the right wing, and Israel Dagg, who scored a memorable try in last year’s Test against the Springboks in Soweto, is at fullback.

This weekend’s Test will feature a number of milestones for a trio of All Blacks, Blues and Auckland teammates: Mealamu will play his 85th Test, Woodcock will play his 75th, while Ali Williams will pull on the black jersey for his 65th Test.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said the All Blacks had had a great build-up in Port Elizabeth and the team was feeling refreshed and raring to go.

“There is excitement across the board in the squad and every player will be looking to put in a big performance this weekend. Playing the Springboks at home is always a massive occasion and with Rugby World Cup spots also up for grabs, our players will be looking to put in a big performance.

“We know we will also be facing a wounded Springboks side who will want to bounce back from their three losses on the trot so we will have to be ready for a huge physical contest.”

The All Blacks and Springboks have played each other 82 times, with 46 wins to the All Blacks, 33 to South Africa and three draws. The All Blacks have played the Springboks four times in Port Elizabeth (1928, 1949, 1960 and 1970), with victories to South Africa on every occasion.

All Blacks Starting XV:

Number of Test caps in brackets

1 Tony Woodcock (74), 2 Keven Mealamu – captain (84), 3 John Afoa (32), 4 Samuel Whitelock (16), 5 Ali Williams (64), 6 Jerome Kaino (40), 7 Adam Thomson (20), 8 Liam Messam (8), 9 Jimmy Cowan (46), 10 Colin Slade (4), 11 Hosea Gear (7), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (6), 13 Richard Kahui (11), 14 Isaia Toeava (30), 15 Israel Dagg (6).

Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore (53), 17 Ben Franks (10), 18 Jarrad Hoeata (2), 19 Victor Vito (6), 20 Andy Ellis (19), 21 Piri Weepu (47), 22 Cory Jane (23).

9 Responses to Tri-Nations: All Blacks name “B” Team for Bokke

  • 1

    Freegin tough team, this All Black “B” side.

    I say again, if the bokke lose to this lot, and it might well happen, imagine the disgrace….

    The headings will be: “Bokke not even good enough for ‘B’ Blacks”.

  • 2

    If the Bokke coaching staff were playing chess against their All Black and / or Wallaby rivals, one senses that they would always be a few moves behind, deep in the shit, without their Queen and the Bishops and with one Rouk and one Castle also out of the game…. the Pawns doing most of the attacking moves.

    It’s like having to hide your King away the whole time because the opposition Queen and all the opposition big guns are forever manuevering to put your King in the position of CHESS or CHESS MATE!

    In who’s shoes would you rather be this week, reflecting on preparation for the World Cup…. Snorrie’s or Graham Henry?

    Even if the All Blacks lose this one, they can make up next week, with their strongest side, against the Aussies. If they win however… where does that leave the Bokke?

    I’ll tell you where… Still not sure who the best Bokke run-on side is, low in confidence, and with the wrong game plan and coaches!

    There is a marked dissimilarity in planning and readyness.

  • 3

    @ grootblousmile:
    what you say is true but for me, i would like the ABs to win again, one thing we must not do now is win convincingly. I am sick and tired of losing too but one more time is fine if you look at the bigger picture. Remember how i went balistic on voldys when Jake threw tests, i still believe you must win all and cant wait for a SARU who is adament that its coach must play to win and put in strict performance clauses in the next Coaches contract.

    Winning Saturday will only wake up the All Blacks, we must hope they see us as a joke, that is honestly how i feel we stand a chance.

    Winning in New Zealand against a in form, motivated and serious All Black team is almost imposible.

  • 4

    3@ superBul:
    Can’t agree… the All Blacks still have next week, in Australia, as their supposed wake up (while I think they are already and have been wide awake in their meticulous planning) if that’s what it is about.

    If the Bokke don’t win on Saturday… they will even be deeper in the dolldrums, than we know they already are.

    Making provision for another loss, like you have just done, says one thing only… and that is a deperate attempt to support the Snormeister… in whom you trust and have trusted.

    Look at the last 13 Tests (Saturday it would be 14)… we have won 30.77% of them and on Saturday that figure could slump to 28.57%… it is going from bad to worse!

  • 5

    @ grootblousmile:
    grootblousmile wrote:

    Look at the last 13 Tests (Saturday it would be 14)… we have won 30.77% of them and on Saturday that figure could slump to 28.57%… it is going from bad to worse!

    horrible indeed, the only thing we can hope for is a surprize win and a All Black team totally underestimating us. And believe me they are laughing , but let them, he who laugh last….
    Look i dont like what Snor is doing to our precious rugby history, and i really wish this dam RWC can go away. But in Sport you NEVER underestimate your opponent, if they Laugh now it is great, wish they want to laugh out loud.

    And dont tell me they wont under estimate us because they are so perfectly profesional. These things happen in 15 minutes. They might just run on a bit over confident or asleep and we hit our straps and never let the gas of the throttle. Over and out. Good bye Sannie, go look for Suzi.

    Over confident Pshycological (spelling) mindset can creep in, and they are ripe, just hope they have plain sailing and dont get a wake up call before we meet again.

  • 6

    5@ superBul:
    Banking on if’s and but’s and maybe’s and hoping the All Blacks choke… that’s very, very iffy!

    If I understand correctly, you are not banking on the Bokke being good, but the Kiwi’s choking….. what if they don’t?

  • 7

    @ grootblousmile:
    No sir i am not banking on anything. I am praying , hoping clutching for straws, whatever you call it.

    The fact is since 1992 we have 3 wins in NZ, and magician Peter have 2 of those 3, so maybe i am hoping for some magic.
    We are in deep poo against the All Blacks, they left us behind and they only say nice things about us because they need competition to get their spectators happy. They talk us up more than we deserve.

  • 8

    If the bokke beat NZ this weekend it will be an upset. That is the sad but true state of SA rugby. I really find myself drifting away from this circus more and more. And i’m afraid that the end is not in sight. It is terrible to be a true bok supporter.

  • 9

    @ Snoek:
    kyk as ons nie verdere beserings kry nie het ons n decent span, geen twyfel daaroor nie. Die spelpatroon is dalk oud modies maar baie kenners se dit kan dalk werk. Ervaring het ons vragte vol. Coach doen nie snaakse veranderinge aan ons spel patroon nie.Hy kan wel breindood plaas vervangings doen. Die agterlyn afrigter moet tog iewers iets weg steek, kan wragtag nie heeltemal stupid wees nie. Dalk , dalk net iewers n onverwagte sker beweging. As al die Ysters gekies word sal ons skrum dalk sy man staan.

    Nee wat daar is n kans.



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