To make an emphatic statement in their Wembley match against an Argentina side powered by a bruising pack, the All Blacks will field a team with an average age of 28 and featuring 1,013 caps in the starting XV and a further 316 caps on the bench.
The 11 All Blacks marking their first RWC appearance are Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea, Aaron Smith, Brodie Retallick, Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett. “But it also means they know a lot more about...
“Since being successfully selected as a team base over 12 months ago, the club’s off-field staff have worked extensively with Darlington Council, Rugby World Cup and the All Blacks“, said Mowden Park managing director Lee Rust.
A clean sweep against the remaining sides in their pool, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia should be enough to get Argentina into the quarter-finals and a clash against the winners of Pool D, likely to be either France or Ireland.
Murray and company are in Glasgow preparing for the start of the Davis Cup tie on Friday, but they took their minds off that crunch clash when they travelled to Celtic Park for a team-bonding exercise.
Lacking serious punch in their backline is offset by their pack who are equal of most in the world, or better. That time, just to spite me, they fell over in the quarterfinals against a once-more rampaging France!