FIREPOWER EXPERIENCE AND X-FACTOR IN ALL BLACKS WORLD CUP SQUAD

There were few surprises in the All Blacks World Cup rugby squad named on Monday by coach Ian Foster.

Of course there were unlucky ones, namely halfback Brad Weber, utility backs Braydon Ennor and Dallas McLeod, loose-forward Samipeni Finau, lock Josh Lord and prop Joe Moody as well as the injured Ethan Blackadder.

Foster and his fellow selectors Jason Ryan and Joe Schmidt have gone for an 18 forward 15 back mix in the 33-man squad with has an average age of 27. It is vastly experienced with 1,493 test caps among them and 17 players appearing in their first World Cup. For lock Sam Whitelock it will be his fourth World Cup campaign.

Three players have been added to the squad as injury cover and will travel to Europe, halfback Weber, Canterbury and Crusaders rising star and hooker George Bell and loose-forward Finau.

UNLUCKY -Samipeni Finau

The All Blacks completed their home season unbeaten following a nail-biting 23-20 win over the Wallabies in Dunedin and now have just one more warmup match against South Africa at Twickenham on Friday August 23.

CRUCIAL COMPONENTS - Jason Ryan & Sam Whitelock

Their World Cup campaign kicks off with a block-buster against hosts France in Paris on Saturday September 9 with over 84,000 fans including this writer there to see it.

A week later the All Blacks take on Namibia then Italy on September 30 and Uruguay on October 6 prior to the quarterfinals.

Listen to Greg Brimble and my (John Alexander) interview as we dissect the All Blacks squad and how we think they might go in France.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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