Some Big Names Left At Home As All Blacks Name 31-Man World Cup Squad

Defending champions.

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has named his 31-man World Cup squad for Japan – with a number of big names missing out on selection.

Prop Owen Franks has paid the ultimate price for a recent drop in form, while there’s also no place for centre Ngani Laumape and back-row forward Liam Squire.

Hansen preferred four centres ahead of Laumape – Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Jack Goodhue and Ryan Crotty, with the latter three picked despite recent injuries.

Kieran Read will once again captain the All Blacks.

“This Rugby World Cup looks like being the most fiercely-contested yet with a large number of teams all believing they can win.” Hansen said

“This will bring possibly more pressure and expectation on them than ever before and it will be interesting to see who can and who can’t cope with it.”

Forwards:

Hookers
Dane Coles (32, Hurricanes / Wellington, 64)
Liam Coltman (29, Highlanders / Otago, 5)
Codie Taylor (28, Crusaders / Canterbury, 44)
Props
Nepo Laulala (27, Chiefs / Counties Manukau, 19)
Joe Moody (30, Crusaders /Canterbury, 40)
Atu Moli (24, Chiefs / Tasman, 2)
Angus Ta’avao (29, Chiefs / Taranaki, 7)
Ofa Tuungafasi (27, Blues / Auckland, 29)
Locks
Scott Barrett (25, Crusaders / Taranaki, 30)
Brodie Retallick (28, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 77)
Patrick Tuipulotu (26, Blues / Auckland, 24)
Samuel Whitelock (30, Crusaders / Canterbury, 111)
Loose forwards
Sam Cane (27, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 63)
Luke Jacobson (22, Chiefs / Waikato, 1)
Kieran Read (33, Crusaders / Counties Manukau, 121) – Captain
Ardie Savea (25, Hurricanes / Wellington, 38)
Matt Todd (31, Crusaders / Canterbury, 20)
Backs:

Halfbacks

TJ Perenara (27, Hurricanes / Wellington, 58)
Aaron Smith (30, Highlanders / Manawatu, 86)
Brad Weber (28, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 2)
First five-eighths
Beauden Barrett (28, Blues / Taranaki, 77)
Richie Mo’unga (25, Crusaders / Canterbury, 12)
Midfielders
Ryan Crotty (30, Crusaders / Canterbury, 44)
Jack Goodhue (24, Crusaders / Northland, 9)
Anton Lienert-Brown (24, Chiefs / Waikato, 37)
Sonny Bill Williams (33, Blues / Counties Manukau, 53)
Outside backs
Jordie Barrett (22, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 11)
George Bridge (24, Crusaders / Canterbury, 4)
Rieko Ioane (22, Blues / Auckland, 26)
Sevu Reece (22, Crusaders / Waikato, 2)
Ben Smith (33, Highlanders /Otago, 79)