All Blacks Team v Tonga – Opening Game

Andrew Hore, Sonny Bill Willians & Israel Dagg are included in the All Blacks line-up for opening match of World Cup, that has no room for Mils Miluania or Keven Mealamu, even on bench. Conrad Smith is also missing from the match day squad, his exclusion makes way for SBW, who pushes Ma’a Nonu out from his regular position at 12 to 13 in the centre. Nonu suggested that the All Blacks had looked to play some bigger players against the physical threat of the Tongans.

Dagg scores New Zealand
Dagg scoring for the All Blacks

On the wings Isaia Toeava and Richard Kahui have been selected, pushing Corey Jane to the bench and there is no place in the twenty-two for Zac Guildford. The match day squad was announced at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland, the team’s current base.

New Zealand team for Tonga Game

1. Tony Woodcock
2. Andrew Hore
3. Owen Franks
4. Brad Thorn
5. Ali Williams
6. Jerome Kaino
7. Richie McCaw – Captain
8. Victor Vito
9. Jimmy Cowan
10. Daniel Carter
11. Isaia Toeava
12. Sonny Bill Williams
13. Ma’a Nonu
14. Richard Kahui
15. Israel Dagg

The reserves bench is:

16. Corey Flynn
17. Ben Franks
18. Anthony Boric
19. Sam Whitelock
20. Piri Weepu
21. Colin Slade
22. Cory Jane

The team will take on Tonga in the opening fixture on Friday night New Zealand time, after the opening ceremony at Eden Park, Auckland.