Brodie Retallick This is one glamorous plugin.
The All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup squad selection threw up a few surprises when announced at Eden Park on Wednesday.
The most notable was the omission of veteran prop Owen Franks, along with loose forward Liam Squire and midfielder Ngani Laumape missing out.
Here are the notable names in and out of the 31-man squad.:
* RWC match schedule and pools
* How to watch the Rugby World Cup
* Crotty to return for Canterbury
* Giteau Law to be reviewed
Brodie Retallick THE WINNERS
One of two surprise selections on the day, after getting the nod ahead of veteran Owen Franks. It had seemed Ofa Tuungafasi would be the sole backup loosehead to Joe Moody, but now Moli – who was a tighthead before the All Blacks saw value in switching to the loosehead – presents as another option, with Nepo Laulala and Angus Ta’avao the other tighthead options in the group. Long-term injuries had stunted Moli’s progress over the past couple of years, but the 24-year-old has now got two test caps under his belt this season.
Another eye-catching name in the squad. The 22-year-old shapes as a lay down misère long-term All Black of the future and it looked like World Cup selection may have just came round a little too quickly for the former New Zealand Under 20s captain, whose repeat concussion symptoms also didn’t look to be helping his cause, in ruling him out of the Bledisloe Cup tests following a debut off the bench in Buenos Aires. But, versatile across the backrow, his potential was too good to overlook.
Can count himself fortunate, because if Brodie Retallick was fit, Tuipulotu would surely not be stepping on the plane. The All Blacks would have been keen to repeat their 2015 squad selection model, which included three locks and six loose forwards, but so crucial is Retallick to the cause, he’s worth taking, even if he’s only set to be involved fro the playoffs onwards. His part absence means a fourth specialist lock was desired, and Tuipulotu, with 24 tests behind him, made a strong impression in his most recent, against th
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