All Blacks

Teams – Australia vs New Zealand Hong Kong Bledisloe

Teams – Australia vs New Zealand Hong Kong Bledisloe

We haven’t got the full Wallabies team yet – it’s announced on Thursday – but the leaks are starting to trickle out and the All Blacks have laid down their misere, with an interesting twist.

First off we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Luke Burgess is set to regain his spot at 9 from Vanilla Gregan – papa Deans told him before Tuesday’s training as Luke had been asking every 15 minutes since wheels up at Kingsford Smith.

Assuming Burgess is match fit (are any of them following the weeks they’ve had off?) this gives me some reason for hope of quick ball and defense around the ruck.

The other starting name we’ve been given is Mark Chisholm at lock. While it’s a bit of a case of last man standing, Antipodeans seems to believe the toe up Chis’ arse might have done the trick:

“So this is his chance, he’s obviously pretty excited about it and he’s got an awareness of how important it is because he’s got that sense of having these chances previously and not taking advantage of them.

“So if he brings that urgency, I’m picking you’ll see a pretty good performance out of him.”

Worringly, Ryan Cross has been training as Mortlock’s centre pairing. Both are great outside centres, niether is an inside centre. I can only assume Berrick Barnes needs more time to rest his shoulder.

Tuqiri’s out for two games at least and I quite like a few of the quotes from Dingo on this one:

“He won’t be playing this week and he won’t be playing next week to be honest, to be fair,” Deans revealed.

He might think otherwise … but he needs to get some work under his belt.

If he, through the work he does, has a setback, and it gets to the point where there’s no advantage with him being with us, then we’ll send him home.”

No special favours, which is good to see.

Tim Tam has delivered another surprise to Australian rugby. As well as needing a brand new hammy a few weeks after arriving at the Tahs, it now turns out that he can’t fly outside of Australia without buggering his back.

Tahu was experiencing back tightness – a discomfort stemming as much from a nine-hour flight from Sydney as his chronic hamstring injury – and was unable to take part in the Wallabies’ first team run in Hong Kong

9 hours? He’ll need a fucken wheelchair out of Heathrow by the sound of things.

Despite training in Honkers, McMenimen is still out till Italy as is Kimlin. Palu is unlikely to play the pasta eaters.

As for the Kiwis, it’s a pretty good looking team I’ve gotta say and the switch of Carter to 12 outside of Donald could re-create the headaches it did towards the end in Brisbane.

All Blacks
Mils Muliaina, Hosea Gear, Conrad Smith, Dan Carter, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Stephen Donald, Jimmy Cowan, Rodney So’oialo, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock.
Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Greg Somerville, Anthony Boric, Adam Thompson, Piri Weepu, Ma’a Nonu, Isaia Toeava.

All Blacks

Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

More in All Blacks