Sommerville in for injured Afoa as AB’s change one

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content on 10 Jun 2008 at 08:37

All Black coach Graham Henry seems to have learned from his mistakes last year.

“Rotation”, it would seem, is now considered a dirty word in New Zealand rugby circles; the Headmaster seems less keen on building two teams that have defeat all comers, preferring to rather have one unit that has the experience and rhythm to actually win when it matters.

The All Blacks were quite impressive in beating the Irish by ten points last weekend, but will need to keep the momentum going when they face the English this weekend.

Blues tighthead prop John Afoa is the only injury casualty from the Irish game, having hurt his knee. 30-year-old Crusaders strongman Greg Sommerville comes straight in at 3, to complete a strong front row that contains Hurricanes team-mates Neemia Tialata and Andrew Hore at loosehead and hooker respectively. The third Hurricanes front-ranker in the swart, John Schwalger, will be the reserve prop.

Rodney So’oialo will again play out of position at blindside flank, with in-from Blues eighthman Jerome Kaino hanging on to the number 8 jersey.

There is a strong emphasis on combinations in the backline, with the halfback pair of Ellis and Carter both from Canterbury. Hurricanes centres Nonu and Smith will also have another chance to develop on their good showing in the Super 14.

All Black team to face England:

15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Anthony Tuitavake, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Rodney So’oialo, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Neemia Tialata. Reserves: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17, John Schwalger, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Sione Lauaki, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Leon MacDonald.


  • I really don’t think the All Blacks were that impressive, the scoreline flattered them. Look you have to take the weather conditions into account but I really believe we have the beating of them this year.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.06.08 10:30:54 by Dive Pass Reply
    Dive Pass
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 1) : no – I was trying to be polite 😉

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.06.08 10:41:43 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • And the Poms have named their team. A number of changes. Surprised that Matthew Tait is only on the bench as I rate him as the one Pom backline player with that X factor.

    Also surprised that AB’s continue to select Muliaina ahead of MacDonald!

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.06.08 13:42:38 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Tom Rees, 6 James Haskell, 5 Steve Borthwick (c), 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
    Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Ben Kay, 19 Joe Worsley, 20 Danny Care, 21 Jamie Noon, 22 Mathew Tait.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.06.08 13:47:12 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 4) : that’s not a scarily strong team.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.06.08 13:47:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Villie (Comment 3) : Also suprised to see Macdonald on the bench 👿 👿

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.06.08 13:48:17 by Reds Reply

  • @Villie (Comment 3) :

    MacDonald didn’t have his best season but if you ask a Canterbury supporter they will tell you it’s because Henry doesn’t like Crusaders…

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.06.08 13:48:37 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Decent props. Don’t rate Mears – too small. Average locks. 2 very promising loosies. 8th man – nothing special.

    All in all, I see a comfortable win for the AB’s…probably by 15 or more!

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.06.08 13:51:51 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Sounds straight out of a comic book, Topsy Ojo, Wigglesworth, Olly Barkley….

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.06.08 13:54:08 by PJLD Reply
  • I reckon the Poms are going to get a hiding.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.06.08 14:03:35 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply


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